Attorney General Ken Paxton today joined ESI/Employee Solutions, LP and Hagan Law Group, two Dallas-area employers, in a lawsuit challenging a City of Dallas paid employee sick leave ordinance similar to an Austin ordinance struck down by a Texas court last year and a San Antonio ordinance stayed by a trial court last month.
“The Dallas City Council’s decision to enact this ordinance in the face of other legal challenges successfully stopping similar laws is yet another example of the lawlessness and disregard for working Texans that is becoming all too common among local governments in our larger cities. Not only would this ordinance harm the ability of Texans to find and keep jobs, it is a blatant attempt to silence the millions of other voters throughout our State who disagree with the agenda of urban elites, even after the courts have made it clear they cannot do so.” Attorney General Paxton said.
Approved in April of 2019, the ordinance broadly applies to a variety of employers with employees that perform work in Dallas—regardless of whether those employers are located in another city—but allows unionized employers to be exempted from these requirements. The ordinance also grants the City of Dallas broad jurisdiction to investigate private and confidential business documents of employers and workers outside the city’s jurisdiction.
In the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Attorney General Paxton explained that the minimum amount of compensation established for workers – including the minimum amount of sick leave and other paid time off – is a decision entrusted by the Texas Constitution solely to the Texas Legislature. The complaint further explains that the ordinance unlawfully attempts to usurp the authority of voters in other cities and denies Texans who choose not to join a labor union equal protection of the law.