By John P. Phillips, Joshua D. Seidman, and Tracy M. Billows

Seyfarth Synopsis:  On Wednesday, July 24, 2019, approximately one week before San Antonio’s paid sick leave ordinance was scheduled to go into effect for most employers, a Texas state court stayed implementation of the city’s paid sick leave ordinance until at least December 1, 2019.  In the meantime, the Dallas paid sick leave ordinance remains scheduled to go into effect on August 1, 2019 for most employers.

Since Austin passed the first paid sick leave (“PSL”) ordinance in Texas last year, the state has enjoyed an ongoing PSL saga, including similar ordinances passed by Dallas and San Antonio, failed preemption legislation, court battles, and a pending appeal to the Texas Supreme Court.  The drama has not abated.  We last reported on the state of PSL ordinances in Texas a week ago.  Since that time, a whirlwind of activity has occurred.  Most notably, on July 24, 2019, a Bexar County District Court stayed implementation of San Antonio’s PSL ordinance until at least December 1, 2019.  Meanwhile—for the time being at least—Dallas’ PSL ordinance is still scheduled to go into effect on August 1, 2019.

San Antonio PSL Ordinance Is Stayed Until December 1

As we previously reported, San Antonio’s PSL ordinance was scheduled to go into effect on August 1, 2019 for most businesses.  On July 15, however, a group of local businesses and business associations filed a lawsuit in Texas state court seeking an injunction of the San Antonio ordinance’s August 1 effective date.  The business plaintiffs focused on the same constitutional grounds that suspended implementation of Austin’s paid sick leave ordinance last year.

On July 19, the State of Texas (through the Attorney General’s office) intervened in the San Antonio lawsuit, siding with the business plaintiffs.  The City of San Antonio then agreed to voluntarily stay implementation of the PSL ordinance until December 1 stating that it would use the four-month delay to consider possible revisions to the PSL ordinance.  On July 24, 2019, the court granted the stay, halting the August 1 implementation date and postponing the San Antonio PSL ordinance.  Accordingly, businesses in San Antonio now need not worry about PSL compliance until at least December 1.

Dallas PSL Ordinance Is Scheduled To Go Into Effect August 1—At Least For Now

Not to be deterred by San Antonio’s PSL delay, the Dallas PSL ordinance is still scheduled to go into effect on August 1, 2019 for most businesses.  Dallas is continuing to prepare for implementation as the city recently published PSL Rules and Frequently Asked Questions.  Accordingly, employers in Dallas should continue to prepare for the city PSL ordinance’s implementation, subject to any further developments over the next week.

To date—unlike in Austin and San Antonio—no lawsuit has been filed challenging the Dallas PSL ordinance.  That being said, a lawsuit could be filed in the next several days.  We will continue to monitor developments as they unfold in Texas, and will provide updates as additional information becomes available.

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