Employer Alert: City Council to Vote on Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

On February 15, Austin City Council is scheduled to vote on a city ordinance that would require all private employers to provide paid sick leave to employees. Here’s what you need to know if the ordinance is enacted.

When will it take effect?
May 2018.

Who is affected?
All private employers regardless of size including small businesses and non-profits. The ordinance does not apply to government agencies.

Does this apply to independent contractors?
It applies to employees. The ordinance defines an employee as an individual who performs work for pay and an employer as a person or company that pays an employee and exercises control over the employee’s wages, hours, and working conditions. Some independent contractors may be covered by the definitions.

What employees are entitled to sick leave?
Any employee that works for the employer inside the city limits for at least 80 hours in a calendar year. It applied to both full-time and part-time employees.

How much leave are they entitled to?
One hour per 30 hours worked up to a total of 64 hours (8 sick days).

Is there a probationary period?
No. The employees can use their hours as soon as they are earned. Example: Employee works Monday through Thursday, 8 hours per day. Employee can take one hour of paid sick leave on Friday.

What if my company’s existing policy is more generous?
Then, you don’t need to change it. The City ordinance will serve as a minimum.

Who is going to enforce this?
The City of Austin’s Equal Employment Opportunity/Fair Housing Office.