Texas Public Policy Foundation Files Suit Against City’s Sick Leave Ordinance
The conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation think tank is hoping to undo another aspect of Austin's social progress regarding workers' rights. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, the group is challenging City Council's paid sick leave policy passed in February by a 9-2 vote. The historic ordinance, scheduled to take effect on Oct. 1, grants employees up to eight paid sick days (or 64 hours) each year, and is said to be the first of its kind in the South. Suing the city of Austin on behalf of Texas Association of Business, the National Federation of Independent Business, and the American Staffing Association, TPPF claims the policy violates state minimum wage laws and the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause because it exempts unionized employees. The group also argues that plaintiffs will suffer due to expenses in preparation for complying with the policy, and while the policy is in effect.
TPPF's suit isn't the only attack on the policy: State-level GOP lawmakers, including Rep. Paul Workman, R-Austin, have vowed to file legislation to repeal the ordinance at the start of next session.