Over the past few months we’ve been tracking the interplay between various Texas cities (San Antonio – Dallas – Austin) and the Texas legislature. The aforementioned city councils adopted in similar form and fashion mandatory leave policies for employees within city limits. The Dallas version provides for the following:
- In effect August 1, 2019 for employers with 15 or more employees and August 1, 2021 for smaller businesses;
- All for-profit and non-profit businesses required to provide paid sick-leave;
- An employee is entitled to one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked; and
- The number of hours that can be accrued is limited to 64 hours for employers that employ more than 15 employees and 48 hours for those with fewer than 15.
Mayors and legislators told us the ordinances would never happen because Texas state legislation would prevent the ordinances – or so they said. Guess what? The Texas legislature did not make it happen. Come August we have mandatory leave in Dallas proper.
Other cities in the U.S. have passed similar ordinances and in some instances gone above and beyond. For instance, the City of Minneapolis has a passed a quasi-FMLA ordinance with retaliation provisions. A city agency can actually award damages with limited judicial review. Think of it as arming the EEOC with the power to award damages – from an employer perspective that his scary. The question becomes whether Texas cities will continue to expand these type of pro-employee provisions. We’ll see and keep you posted.