Attorney General Ken Paxton today intervened in a lawsuit filed by a dozen business organizations against the city of San Antonio to strike down the city’s unlawful sick leave ordinance. The ordinance is scheduled to take effect August 1.
In court papers filed with the Texas state district court in Bexar County, Attorney General Paxton explained that the minimum amount of compensation established for workers – including the minimum amount of paid time off – is a decision entrusted by the Texas Constitution solely to the state Legislature.
When the Legislature enacted the Texas Minimum Wage Act, it intended to set a single, uniform policy for the entire state. Nowhere in the Act is there mention of requiring employers to provide paid time off from work.
In a letter to San Antonio’s city leaders last year, Attorney General Paxton cautioned them against circumventing Texas law. But the City Council passed the sick leave ordinance by a 9-2 vote.
“San Antonio, Austin, Dallas and other cities cannot be allowed to pass their own laws simply because they dislike state law or disagree with the judgment of the state’s elected representatives,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The Legislature established the minimum amount of compensation for workers, and the Texas Constitution prohibits local municipalities from ignoring the Legislature’s decision.”
Last year, Attorney General Paxton intervened in a lawsuit against the city of Austin’s unlawful sick leave ordinance. Last November, the Court of Appeals for the 3rd District of Texas blocked the ordinance, concluding that it violates the Texas Constitution and Texas law. Attorney General Paxton and the city of Austin both asked the Texas Supreme Court to take up the case.
Twelve business organization are suing the city of San Antonio to stop its sick leave rule from taking effect: Associated Builders & Contractors of South Texas Inc.; American Staffing Association; BBM-Online LLC; Burnett Companies Consolidated Inc.; Cardinal Senior Care LLC; Choice Staffing LLC; Employers Solutions Inc.; Hawkins Associates Inc.; LeadingEdge Personnel Ltd; Staff Force Inc.; San Antonio Manufacturers Association; and the San Antonio Restaurant Association.
View a copy of the intervention here.