San Antonio City Council recently approved revisions to the city’s controversial sick leave ordinance, which will affect close to 354,000 workers. Regardless of size, all businesses operating within city limits will be required to offer sick time to their employees as of December 1.
Under the new guidelines, employers will be required to offer 56 hours of sick time or paid time off for employees with qualifying circumstances. Employees would be able to use earned sick time for absences related to illness or injury, seeking medical treatment or preventative care, domestic or sexual assault, and caring for a family member.
Over the last five months, the now-named Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance has been modified in an attempt to appease disgruntled members of the business community as well as shield the ordinance from more legal challenges.
The petition-driven ordinance, initially approved in August 2018, was supposed to go into effect two months ago. The City agreed to a four-month delay after a lawsuit was filed by several business groups, which is still pending.
What changes were made most recently? How could this ordinance affect the status quo for local businesess and their employees and families? Who is it likely to impact the most? What concerns still exist?
How will the ordinance affect service industry employees? What are the potential public health benefits?
Is the business community satisfied with this new iteration? What will the implementation process look like and what assistance is available from the City?
Could San Antonio's sick leave ordinances still face legal challenges? What has happened with similar ordinances in Dallas and Austin?
SA Metro Health will be hosting multiple info sessions about the Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance from Oct. 16-Nov. 13. Click here for more information and to register.
- Jennifer Herriott, MPH, director of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District
- Danielle Hargrove, labor attorney and chair of the City of San Antonio's Paid Sick Leave Commission
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*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, October 9.