A Bexar County judge has postponed a request to delay the implementation of San Antonio’s paid sick leave ordinance.
Business groups suing over the ordinance and the city requested the delay late Friday. MOVE Texas and the Texas Organizing Project (TOP) intervened in hopes of stopping the request. Judge Monique Diaz agreed with TOP’s attorneys who argued they didn’t have enough time to prepare for Monday’s hearing.
The decision is a temporary pause and will be considered on Wednesday – the day the full lawsuit is scheduled to be considered.
The City of San Antonio agreed to the proposal with the plaintiffs with a goal of refining the ordinance before it rolls out to businesses.
“The proposed agreed order to delay implementation of the Paid Sick Leave Ordinance preserves the ordinance, the work of the Council-appointed Commission and the ability of the City Council to make timely adjustments to the ordinance, if it chooses,” said city attorney Andy Segovia. “By contrast, a court order indefinitely suspending implementation – such as what happened in the City of Austin – risks losing all of those things.”
The business groups, which include the San Antonio Restaurant Association, are suing because they say the ordinance violates the Texas Minimum Wage Act. Ricardo Cedillio is the attorney representing the business groups. He told reporters the interveners had a right to state their preference but that’s it’s temporary
“This just buys them two days. It’s immaterial to me whether we do it today, tomorrow or Wednesday. We’ll do it on Wednesday and we’ll move forward,” he said.
TOP and MOVE are two organizations that gathered the signatures to create the paid sick leave ordinance. Cedillo questioned how much standing they have to be involved in the lawsuit he filed.
“Do they have a place at the table in terms of initiating ordinances and petitioning their government? Of course they do,” Cedillo said. “Does that mean that they have the right to enter and be a part of a piece of litigation? No, the law is very clear that that is not allowed.”
Shortly after Diaz’s decision, the Texas Organizing Project and MOVE called it a victory.
“We’re ready to continue and defend paid sick days and what happened today in the courtroom was a showing that we do belong at the table,” said Joleen Garcia, an organizer with TOP.