More Paid Sick Leave Turbulence in Texas

With a GOP trifecta–the governor is a Republican and both chambers of the legislature  have a Republican majority–one would not expect much PSL activity in Texas. But PSL turbulence continues in the Lone Star State and was on full display last week.

Last Friday, a Texas Court of Appeals enjoined the implementation of the Austin Earned Sick Time Ordinance pending the outcome of the legal challenge to it. The Austin Ordinance had been scheduled to go into effect on October 1, 2018. In reversing last month’s district court decision, the Court said that “enjoining the ordinance is necessary to preserve the parties’rights until disposition of the appeal.”

texas-1656861_1920

In San Antonio, PSL proponents had collected enough signatures to have voters decide in November whether to adopt a PSL ordinance. On Thursday, the San Antonio City Council passed the PSL proposal, nullifying the ballot initiative.  The San Antonio PSL ordinance is scheduled to go into effect on August 1, 2019.

Here is where the GOP trifecta is a factor.  The Texas Legislature convenes in January 2019. It is widely anticipated that the legislature will consider a bill to prohibit political subdivisions from enacting a leave law. If enacted, such a law would likely negate both the Austin and San Antonio ordinances.

I suspect that San Antonio business interests are huddling this week to decide whether to file a challenge similar to that pending in Austin or sit on the sidelines and hope that the Austin ordinance (and, in turn, the San Antonio ordinance) will be negated by either the court or the legislature.

There’s more PSL turbulence in Texas, and more to come.