Court of Appeals Strikes Down Austin Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

Employers no longer need to plan for compliance

On Friday, the Third Court of Appeals held that the City of Austin’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance is unconstitutional because it impermissibly sets a higher wage than required by the Texas Minimum Wage Act. The Court reasoned that by requiring employees be paid for time not worked, employees are paid a higher effective rate for the hours they do work. The Court sent the case back to the district court for further proceedings consistent with its holding.

The Court’s decision means that the ordinance is unenforceable, and therefore Austin employers no longer need to implement the City’s paid sick leave requirement. However, the Court’s decision could be appealed further in the future. The Employment Law Practice Group will continue to keep you informed of any developments.

If you have any questions related to how this new decision might affect you or any other employment law matters, contact Sheila Gladstone (512-322-5863;, Ashley Thomas (512-322-5881;, or Emily Linn (512-322-5889; of Lloyd Gosselink’s Employment Law Practice Group.

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