City of San Antonio Enjoined From Enforcing Sick & Safe Leave Ordinance
On Friday, November 22, 2019, State District Judge Peter Sakai granted a temporary injunction enjoining the City of San Antonio from enforcing the Sick & Safe Leave Ordinance (SSLO), which was due to take effect on December 1, 2019. The City may appeal the injunction to the Texas 4th Court of Appeals located in San Antonio.
The business plaintiffs, in the lawsuit filed in July 2019, asserted the City’s original version of the ordinance provided for “earned paid sick time” in violation of the Texas Minimum Wage Act. The original version of the ordinance was to take effect August 1, 2019; however, the parties negotiated an agreement to delay enforcement of the ordinance until December 1, 2019. In an apparent effort to avoid the plaintiffs’ argument in advance of the December 1 date, the City revised the ordinance and eliminated references to “earned paid sick time.” Instead, the City described the leave as “sick and safe leave” and characterized it as a fringe benefit and not a wage or salary component. However, the City’s amendments to the ordinance did not prevent Judge Sakai from enjoining its enforcement.
As has been previously reported, an appeal regarding the Austin paid sick leave ordinance is pending before the Texas Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s decision in the Austin ordinance case will provide guidance relating to similar matters. To date, the only paid sick leave ordinance in effect is the Dallas Paid Sick Leave Ordinance.
Richard G. Garza leads the labor and employment group in Jackson Walker’s San Antonio office. Board certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Specialization, Rick’s practice focuses on representing employers in all aspects of employment-related matters, including formulating and drafting employment contracts and policies and representing employers in administrative/investigation proceedings, state and federal trial and appellate courts. In recognition of his work as a labor and employment litigator, he was named among The Best Lawyers in America in 2019 and has been included in the “Best S.A. Lawyers” list by San Antonio Scene since 2007.
Judy Bennett Garner is a labor and employment attorney with experience counseling employers in various industries, including transportation, healthcare, technology, and financial services. Judy advises and represents employers in all areas of labor and employment law, including matters involving discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, and labor relations. Additionally, Judy’s litigation practice includes cases involving violations of employment statutes, such as Title VII and Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and various state anti-discrimination statutes.
The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its clients, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.