The City of San Antonio’s revisions to its Paid Sick Leave Ordinance did not save it from being blocked on November 22nd by state district judge Peter Sakai. Judge Sakai had held a hearing on the ordinance, now dubbed the “Sick and Safe Leave Benefits” ordinance, on November 7th. The revised ordinance was to have gone into effect on December 1st.
On the 22nd, the judge notified the lawyers in the case that he was granting a temporary injunction sought by the business groups opposing the ordinance. The injunction will block the ordinance until a trial on the merits of the case, which has not been set, unless the City appeals Judge Sakai’s decision to the Fourth Court of Appeals, which sits in San Antonio, and the court upholds the ordinance. According to news reports, the City Attorney’s Office is considering its options.
Also according to news reports, some in City government, like Councilwoman Ana Sandoval, are considering an ordinance that would require companies contracting with the City to provide paid sick and safe leave to their employees, but the City has not yet taken any action on that idea. If passed, such an ordinance would no doubt be challenged in court.
Meanwhile, the case involving the City of Austin’s sick leave ordinance is still up at the Texas Supreme Court, which has not yet decided whether to accept the case for decision. If it takes the case, the Supreme Court will have the final say on whether a city’s paid sick leave ordinance is legal.
In the meantime, the ball is in the City of San Antonio’s court; it can appeal, pass a new ordinance affecting contractors, prepare for trial, or just accept Judge Sakai’s decision.