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Should Texas Workers Be Guaranteed Paid Sick Leave?

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About 40 percent of Texas workers lack access to paid time off needed during an illness or injury, according to the Institute for Women's Policy Research.

Paid sick leave typically also applies to doctor's appointments and time off to take care of family members.

The City of Austin approved an ordinanceearlier this year requiring private employers to offer between 48 and 64 hours of paid sick leave a year, depending on the size of the company.

Currently, there are other local efforts to pass similar policies through petitions in San Antonio and Dallas

Austin's mandate, scheduled to take effect October 1, is the first paid sick leave policyin the South

Since there is no state or federal lawrequiring paid sick time, the ordinance is seeing legal challenges, which argue that local government is overreaching employers and violates state laws like the Texas Minimum Wage Act.

What do business owners consider when it comes to providing paid leave and which industries are most affected? 

The American Medical Association has recognized the public health benefits of paid sick leave, pointing to the potential for early screening and treatment of medical conditions, as well as reducing the risk of spreading infectious diseases. 

How does paid leave impact the health and productivity of the workforce across America? 


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Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.