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Judge Halts San Antonio’s Paid-Sick-Leave Ordinance

November 27, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

SAN ANTONIO, Tex.—A Bexar County judge issued an injunction Nov. 22 that will prevent San Antonio’s paid-sick-leave ordinance from going into effect on Dec. 1. The measure, first enacted last summer and revised in October, would require employers to provide up to 56 hours a year of earned paid sick time. It would cover more than 350,000 workers. Business groups including the Associated Builders and Subcontractors, a trade organization for nonunion construction, argued that the ordinance violated the state’s minimum-wage pre-emption law, which prohibits local governments from setting minimum wages higher than the state’s $7.25 an hour. They were backed by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a branch of the policy-and-litigation network that supported Arthur Janus’ lawsuit to ban union representation fees. Lawyers for the city argued that paid sick leave was a benefit, not a wage. District Judge Peter Sakai’s ruling blocks the law until after a trial resolves that question. He did not set a trial date. San Antonio City Attorney Andy Segovia said the city was considering appealing. A state appeals court has blocked Austin’s paid sick leave law, and the Texas Supreme Court is considering whether to hear an appeal of that ruling. Read more

November 27, 2019

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