Dallas Follows Austin and San Antonio and Implements a Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

For those of you with employees in Dallas, Texas, this bit of news is for you. Last month Dallas passed an ordinance requiring private employers with employees who perform at least 80 hours of work in a year in Dallas to provide paid sick leave to their workers. The new ordinance goes into effect August 1, 2019, for employers with more than five employees. The ordinance will impact employers of five or fewer employees on August 1, 2021. Dallas joins Austin and San Antonio in implementing paid sick leave ordinances in Texas.

The new Dallas ordinance, Dallas Ordinance No. 31181, will require employers to provide one hour of earned paid sick time to their Dallas employees for every 30 hours of time worked.

Paid sick leave may be taken by covered employees for things such as:

  • The employee is physically or mentally ill or needs to seek preventative health care.
  • The employee needs to care for a family member who is physically or mentally ill or needs to seek preventative health care.
  • The employee or the employee’s family member needs to seek medical attention or services (including participation in legal or court-ordered action) related to an incident of domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking.

The total amount of earned paid sick time an employee can accrue per year is capped at 64 hours per year for employers with more than 15 employees and at 48 hours per year for employers with 15 or fewer employees.

Employees must be allowed to carry over earned but unused paid sick time from one year to the next. The Ordinance requires employers to provide each employee with a monthly statement reflecting the amount of available paid sick time the employee has accrued. Employers must also include in their handbooks a section that provides notice of Dallas employees’ paid sick time rights and their remedies.

The Ordinance does not indicate whether employers must pay out accrued but unused sick leave upon separation from employment. Generally, unlike Louisiana, Texas law does not require employers to pay out accrued but unused paid leave, so it seems as if the payment of accrued but unused paid leave is not currently required.

Curiously, the Ordinance does not create a private right of action in favor of the employee. Rather, each violation of one of the Ordinance is punishable by a civil fine of up to $500. Employers have ten days following receipt of a written violation notice to remedy the violation.

So, if you have employees in Dallas, this is another local law that you should prepare to comply with. As always, don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

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