On September 5th, the City of San Antonio’s Paid Sick Leave Commission approved the draft of a revised ordinance for the City Council to consider. The revised ordinance is set to be voted on by the City Council on October 3rd and to go into effect on December 1st, with enforcement is to start April 1, 2020.
The revised ordinance is designed in part to meet objections to the original ordinance raised in a lawsuit filed by business groups in July. For instance, one addition calls the leave a “fringe benefit,” and not a “wage,” and another states the ordinance does not conflict with the Fair Labor Standards Act or the Texas Minimum Wage Act.
Most noticeably, the proposal would change the name of the ordinance to the “Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance,” the addition of “Safe” being to emphasize a focus on public health. The original ordinance already provided that leave could be taken in cases of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking.
Some other revisions to the ordinance are the elimination of distinctions between employers based on size, and changing the minimum number of sick and safe leave hours that can be accrued under the ordinance to 56 for all employers. Employees would have 60 days from the date they discover a violation to file a complaint, instead of the original ordinance’s two years.
The proposed revision was delivered to an ad hoc committee of the City Council on September 10th, but, according to the Rivard Report, the committee believes it needs more time to review the ordinance and to seek input on how the ordinance will affect employers. The City Council is to receive a briefing on the proposed revisions on September 19th.
Whether and when the ordinance actually goes into effect will depend on its reception by the City Council and on developments in the lawsuit over the original ordinance. Stay tuned!