Another Texas City Passes a Paid Sick Leave Law — Will Other Employee Protections Be Next?

On April 24, 2019, Dallas joined Austin and San Antonio in passing a paid sick leave law.  See our previous posts about the Austin and San Antonio laws here and here.   Under the Dallas law, the amount of paid sick leave varies according to the size of the employer.  There are rules regarding the ordinance’s effective date (August 1, 2019 for employers with five or more employees), who is eligible (employees with certain levels of tenure and not independent contractors), restrictions on use, carry-over of time until the next year, procedures on requesting paid sick leave, and other important details.

To be sure, the law’s future is in doubt.  Austin’s paid sick leave ordinance was struck down in late 2018 and is still tied up in the courts; the Dallas law may meet the same fate.  Texas legislators are working to pass bills nullifying such local laws as well.

The Bottom Line for Employers

If it survives, the Dallas law will add to the complicated patchwork of federal (for government contractors), state, and local laws addressing paid sick leave.  Employers should continue to monitor the status of these laws.  Employers should also be on the lookout for state and local laws that grant employee protections not currently recognized by the federal government, such as laws hiking the minimum wage, nullifying employee nondisclosure agreements, mandating harassment training, mandating employee rest breaks, banning criminal history or salary history inquiries, and others.