Seyfarth Synopsis: Just last week, San Antonio agreed to delay implementation of its paid sick leave ordinance until at least December 1, 2019. Now, as of yesterday, a lawsuit has been filed challenging the Dallas paid sick leave ordinance. While the Dallas ordinance is still currently scheduled to go into effect on August 1, 2019 for most employers, events are unfolding quickly. Employers should watch developments carefully to see whether the Dallas paid sick leave ordinance will be similarly delayed.
Over the past several months, there has been a new paid sick leave (“PSL”) development in Texas every few weeks. And in the past two weeks—with the August 1 deadline for implementation in Dallas and San Antonio quickly approaching—the developments have come in droves.
As we previously reported, Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas all passed PSL ordinances in the last year or so. The Austin PSL ordinance was halted by the courts shortly before implementation. The case is currently on appeal to the Texas Supreme Court.
Despite San Antonio and Dallas passing their own PSL ordinances, Texas employers thought a legislative fix was coming, namely in the form of preemption legislation that would prevent Texas municipalities from passing their own PSL ordinances. That fix failed, however, and the Texas Legislature ended its 2019 session without passing any such legislation. Accordingly, employers in San Antonio and Dallas spent the first half of the summer preparing for their cities’ respective PSL requirements.
Last week, after a lawsuit was filed challenging the constitutionality of its PSL ordinance, San Antonio agreed to delay implementation of the ordinance until at least December 1, 2019. This left Dallas as the only Texas municipality with an enacted PSL ordinance that remains scheduled to go into effect August 1, 2019.
On Tuesday, July 30, 2019, businesses filed a federal lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas Sherman Division challenging the Dallas PSL ordinance on many of the same grounds used to successfully halt PSL in Austin and San Antonio. The plaintiff businesses asked the court to postpone the Dallas ordinance’s August 1, 2019 effective date, and ultimately to declare the ordinance unconstitutional and unenforceable. Whether the Dallas PSL ordinance's August 1 effective date will be delayed remains to be seen. Employers impacted by the Dallas ordinance should continue to monitor develops carefully. And we, of course, will provide further updates as they become available.