Andrews Myers Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of Associated Builders and Contractors of Texas on Austin’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

HOUSTON, TX (September 5, 2018) – Andrews Myers P.C., led by Ben Wescott, Tony Stergio and Andrew Clark, filed an amicus brief on behalf of ABC of Texas, AGC-TBB and TCA, to the Third Court of Appeals in opposition to the 459th District Court’s denial of a temporary enjoinment of Austin’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance.

Local paid sick leave ordinances are of significant concern to thousands in the construction industry throughout Texas due to the administrative and financial burdens attached. The amicus brief argues that the Austin Ordinance effectively raises the minimum compensation as a result of employee hours worked in Austin and should therefore be restrained because it is inconsistent with the Texas Minimum Wage Act. That Act, as amended in 2003, bars local minimum wage requirements inconsistent with the statewide mandate.

The Austin Ordinance requires that most every employer provide paid leave to eligible employees (i.e., an additional one hour’s worth of pay for every 30 hours worked within Austin city limits). San Antonio recently passed a similar law, to go into effect in August 2019. These ordinances have the potential to create substantial logistical and accounting issues for companies doing business in multiple Texas cities in any given year.

Perhaps most damaging to those within the construction industry, the Austin and San Antonio ordinances require employers, no matter where they are based, to provide paid leave if an employee has worked at least 80 hours in Austin or San Antonio. If the Austin Ordinance were to stand and San Antonio’s ordinance were to remain unchallenged, contractors would have to track employees’ hours city-by-city and project-by-project, post legally required notices of paid sick leave obligations, keep employees informed of their hours accrued and used in each city, and comply with a patchwork of city regulations. If they remain standing, these ordinances will impose a heavy burden on contractors wanting to do business throughout the state of Texas.

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