Texas Appeals Court to Hear Paid Sick Leave Case

A Texas appeals court will hear oral arguments next week on whether Austin's paid sick leave ordinance should be allowed to go into effect.  At issue is a judge's decision to deny a temporary injunction requested by the state and business advocates.

“We need to have courts say whether this type of ordinance is legal first, before businesses should be required to incur the thousands and thousands of dollars in compliance costs to have to do this,”says Rob Henneke, director of the Center for the American Future at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The TPPF argues the Austin ordinance is unconstitutional on several levels.

“Because the ordinances that have been passed only apply to non-union employers, part of our constitutional claims point to the discrimination based on the freedom of association and also the unequal treatment of employers,” says Henneke.

And he says state already preempts the Austin ordinance.  “The Texas Minimum Wage Act mandates that employers pay wages for paid leave.”

If the appeals are not resolved before the Legislature reconvenes in January, state lawmakers push through legislation prohibiting local governments from enacting such ordinances.

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