**Update on the City of Austin Paid Sick Leave Law**
Although the paid sick leave ordinance was scheduled to take effect on Oct. 1, 2018, a Texas appeals court temporarily blocked the ordinance from becoming effective while various businesses challenged its validity. On Nov. 16, 2018, the Texas appeals court rejected Austin’s sick leave ordinance as unconstitutional.
It is possible that the City of Austin will challenge this ruling but for now, Austin employers do not need to provide employees with paid sick time.
My original blog post is below.
On Feb. 16, 2018, the Austin City Council passed an ordinance that requires all private employers in Austin to provide paid earned sick time to employees.
An employer must provide one hour of earned sick time for every 30 hours that an employee works in Austin. Employees may take paid leave for their own health and safety needs or for a family member’s health and safety needs. Employers may restrict employees’ use of earned sick time to no more than eight days per year.
Employers must comply with the new earned sick time requirements, effective Oct. 1, 2018. However, employers with five or fewer employees must comply with earned sick time requirements, effective Oct. 1, 2020.
City of Austin employers should review their leave and attendance policies and determine whether any changes must be made in order to comply with the new earned sick leave requirements. Also, employers should watch for implementing regulations and prepare to provide the required employee notices, as well as comply with the ordinance’s record-keeping requirements.
All private employers employing any employees in Austin must comply with paid earned sick time requirements. There is no small employer exception under the ordinance.
An employer may provide paid leave benefits that exceed the requirements of the ordinance. The ordinance does not require an employer who makes paid time off available to an employee under conditions that meet the accrual, purpose and usage requirements of the ordinance to provide additional earned sick time.
To be eligible for earned sick time, employees must work in Austin for an employer (including work performed through the services of a temporary or employment agency) for pay for at least 80 hours in a calendar year. Independent contractors and unpaid interns are not covered by the ordinance.