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Texas Court Voids Austin’s Paid Sick-Leave Law

AUSTIN, Tex.—A Texas appeals court struck down Austin’s paid-sick-leave law on Nov. 16, holding that it violated state law prohibiting local governments from setting a minimum wage higher than the state’s. “Employees who take sick leave will receive more pay per hour than actually worked,” the Texas 3rd Court of Appeals declared. “Thus, the ordinance establishes a wage.” It ordered a local judge to prevent the city of Austin from enforcing the law until after a trial is held on the challenge to it brought by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, an affiliate of the State Policy Network of anti-union policy/propaganda groups. “They’ve rigged the rules by counting paid sick leave as a wage, which opens the door for some employers to pay less than $7.25 an hour and count other benefits like paid holidays or even health insurance as part of the minimum wage,” Rick Levy of the Texas AFL-CIO told the Austin Chronicle. “They clearly started with wanting to get a particular result for a particular group of people.” The ordinance, enacted in February, requires businesses to provide up to six or eight days of paid sick leave, depending on their size. Read more

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