Suit Over Dallas Paid Sick Leave Law Begins With Venue Battle

August 16, 2019Alerts

The City of Dallas recently enacted a paid sick leave (PSL) ordinance requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to eligible employees and to abide by specific accrual, use, pay, and recordkeeping obligations. Now, the City is being forced to defend this ordinance against a court challenge, with the early phase of litigation centered on an injunction request and a battle over which court should hear the case.

In late July, two local businesses filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of Texas asking that the ordinance be enjoined. Earlier this week, the City moved to have the suit transferred to the Northern District of Texas–Dallas Division.  A ruling on this request is expected by late August.

The City also opposed the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction that would bar enforcement of the ordinance during the pendency of the suit.  But the timing of the injunction ruling may hinge on the City’s venue transfer request and which court has purview, the Eastern District or the Northern District.

Despite the ordinance’s effective date of August 1, 2019 for employers with more than five employees, the City has stated that it will not enforce the ordinance (with limited exceptions) until April 1, 2020. As a result, and given the legal uncertainty now surrounding the ordinance, affected employers may want to take a “wait and see” approach before implementing any changes to their policies and practices.

We will continue to monitor any developments. For questions about this alert or the PSL ordinance, please contact Lee Szor at [email protected] or 214.231.5778, or John Gessner at [email protected] or 214.231.5780.