Capital of Red State Looking to Enact Mandatory Paid Sick Leave

By Sahid Fawaz

The heavily Republican state of Texas might find its capital city passing a progressive law for workers.

ABC affiliate, KVUE, reports:

“City officials are looking at requiring private employers in Austin to provide paid sick days for their workers. Opponents, however, are sickened by the thought of paid sick leave becoming mandatory.

Promoters of the concept say an estimated 37 percent of workers at private employers in Austin — or about 223,000 people — lack paid sick time. That includes 20 percent of middle-income workers in Austin.

In Austin, the lack of paid sick time is especially acute for part-time workers. Locally, only 27 percent of those who work fewer than 35 hours a week have access to paid sick leave, according to data cited by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Among full-time workers, it’s 71 percent.

By contrast, 87 percent of Austin workers at state and local government agencies have access to paid sick time, the institute says.

For several weeks, city officials have been gathering public input about the plan. Austin’s city manager is supposed to deliver results of the feedback process to the city council by December 5, and the council is expected to act on the proposal early next year.

Across the country, 33 cities and eight states have passed mandates for paid sick leave, according to Work Strong Austin, the alliance that launched the campaign seeking paid sick time for local workers.

Neither Texas nor federal law requires private employers to provide paid sick leave, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. However, federal law dictates that any private employer with at least 50 workers must offer unpaid sick leave.”

For the full story check out the piece at KVUE here.

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