Stakeholders Debate Sick Leave Policy

First of three meetings draws supporters, opponents

Last Thursday, at the first of several planned stakeholder meetings happening through November, workers, advocates, and employers debated the merits of a proposed citywide sick pay ordinance requiring private employers to compensate for time missed for health reasons, following the direction of a resolution approved by City Council on Sept. 28. Joe Hernandez was one of several employees to speak in favor of the ordinance. He said he recently incurred a foot injury that forced him to take days off work at the end of a month in which he desperately needed the money. "Even as a fourth-year union electrician apprentice making good wages, it still affects me," he said. "I'm going to be hurting come next week."

Speaking in opposition, small-business owners expressed fears that the ordinance will make it easier for large corporations that can afford the incurred costs to drive them out of town. Hoover's Cooking proprietor Hoover Alexander said he thought a one-size-fits-all mandate would jeopardize the future of his restaurant and others like it. "Some will be able to afford it," he said. "But some can't, and many of those who can't are minority- and family-owned."

The next stakeholder meeting is Thursday, Nov. 16, 4pm, at the Town Lake Center (721 Barton Springs Rd., Assembly Room 130). The third and final meeting will be held at 4pm, Thu., Nov. 30, at Fiesta Gardens (2101 Jesse E. Segovia St.). City staff plans to present its findings to Council in December.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More sick leave
Sick Leave: A Wage by Any Other Name?
Sick Leave: A Wage by Any Other Name?
Texas 3rd Court of Appeals strikes down Austin’s ordinance

Mary Tuma, Nov. 23, 2018

Sick Leave Update
Sick Leave Update
Plans stalled on rollout

Chase Hoffberger, Sept. 14, 2018

More by Joseph Caterine
Handcuffed
Handcuffed
Is this what the African-American Achievement Plan looks like at AISD?

Feb. 23, 2018

Whose Affordability Crisis?
Whose Affordability Crisis?
Looking through the prism’s lens

Feb. 2, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

sick leave

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle