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Federal Court Enjoins Dallas Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

March 31, 2020Alerts

A federal judge has enjoined the Dallas Paid Sick Leave Ordinance from being enforced during the pendency of a lawsuit over its constitutionality. The court’s preliminary injunction came just two days before the scheduled April 1 expiration of the grace period in which the City of Dallas had promised not to impose penalties for violations.

The court's 63-page decision, handed down on March 30, resolved for now the looming question of whether, in addition to providing paid leave to employees under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), employers would have to provide paid sick leave to employees for coronavirus-related qualifying reasons under the Dallas ordinance.

What Employers Need to Know

There is no statewide paid sick leave ordinance in Texas. Rather, three major cities in Texas – Austin, Dallas and San Antonio – enacted their own paid sick leave ordinances that purported to allow employees who perform work in those cities to accrue and use paid sick time at their employer’s expense. All three ordinances, however, have now been enjoined from being enforced based on the likelihood that they will ultimately be struck down as unconstitutional. Consequently, as of now, there are no state or local paid sick leave laws in effect in Texas for private employers.

Texas employers who receive a request for leave related to an illness or health condition should consider whether the request is covered by federal law, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and/or the FFCRA.