UPDATE: SAN ANTONIO & DALLAS PAID SICK LEAVE MANDATES ARE EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1
While a court injunction still blocks the paid sick leave (PSL) ordinance in Austin, the San Antonio and Dallas ordinances are on track to become effective on August 1, 2019 for employers with more than 5 employees working within city limits. The ordinance doesn’t require that an employer is based in San Antonio or Dallas, simply that an employee spends time working on behalf of the employer within those cities. Do you have any employees who work 80 hours per year within Dallas or San Antonio?
EMPLOYER SIZE & IMPLEMENTATION DATES
Implementation dates and requirements vary based on the size of the employer. Applicable employers are expected to comply on the implementation date, though penalties—with the exception of penalties for retaliation—will not be enforced until April 1, 2020.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AUGUST: SAN ANTONIO
While the ordinance will be in place, the City of San Antonio has repeatedly stated that they are still working through the interpretation and application of the provisions. Therefore, it’s not practical to move forward with a final implementation plan. Here’s why.
We’ve been researching this ordinance and attending city meetings on this topic, which will continue until at least the end of the month. There, we’ve learned there are a lot of unanswered questions and many provisions that require guidance from the city’s attorneys. In addition, a commission appointed by the city will be recommending changes in the upcoming weeks, which will need to be adopted by city council. We are awaiting this guidance.
We recommend staging implementation while final regulations are clarified and published. Below is a list of recommendations for August. As mentioned above, we expect some additional news in the upcoming weeks and will follow-up with you once those updates are available.
Waiting to make changes may help you to avoid taking early steps only to find you can or need to make adjustments, thereby potentially creating a negative effect on your company or a negative impression with your employees.
The following recommendations apply to all San Antonio employees who may not have been eligible for PTO or PSL under your current policy.
- Fines for retaliation can be assessed starting August 1. For that reason, it will be crucial for you to take no action that could be seen as retaliation. If an employee calls in and says they are sick, grant them time off. Do not require that they provide a doctor’s note unless they have been absent for three or more consecutive days.
- Do not introduce a new Employee Handbook or reprogram your payroll/timekeeping system until after the final regulations are published.
- If you’d like to try to comply before the grace period expires, we recommend not frontloading and instead using the following accrual formula, which equates to 1 hour of PSL per 30 hours worked.
Accrual Formula (hourly)
(1/30) hours accrued X hours worked = PSL hours
The following table illustrates the amount of time that will be earned each week based on employee hours worked.For the sake of simplicity, only full weeks contain a calculation, which is based on hours worked.
The Dallas and San Antonio Ordinances include several provisions that will probably require changes to most employers’ PTO policies. For example, PSL must be provided to part-time employees under these ordinances.
One other consideration is that the employer does not need to be based in Dallas or San Antonio; the employer only needs to have employees who work 80 hours per year within the Dallas or San Antonio city limits. For typical work schedules, that amounts to only two weeks of work in either city.
A high-level description of the requirements is in the table below. To review the complete ordinances, please see the following links:
- Dallas’s Ordinance: http://library.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Texas/dallas/cityofdallastexascodeofordinances/volumei/chapter20earnedpaidsicktime?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:dallas_tx$anc=JD_Ch.20
- San Antonio’s Ordinance: https://www.sanantonio.gov/Portals/0/Files/Atty/Regulatory/PaidSickLeave/Ordinance2018-08-16-0620.pdf
FOR MORE INFORMATION
BFG will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates. For more information or assistance, please contact our Human Resources team at 210–775–6082, toll-free at 1–888–757–2104, or [email protected].