DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The city of Dallas’ new plan to require businesses to offer paid sick leave to their employees, may face a new challenge from the state Attorney General’s Office.
Now, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is arguing that only state lawmakers can require businesses to offer paid sick leave and that it’s not up to individual cities.
Paxton is getting involved in a paid sick leave ordinance in San Antonio, while giving notice to Dallas and Austin about their recently-passed ordinances.
In court papers filed with the Texas state district court in Bexar County, Attorney General Paxton explained that the minimum amount of compensation established for workers – including the minimum amount of paid time off – is a decision entrusted by the Texas Constitution solely to the state Legislature.
When the Legislature enacted the Texas Minimum Wage Act, it intended to set a single, uniform policy for the entire state. Nowhere in the Act is there mention of requiring employers to provide paid time off from work.
In a letter to San Antonio’s city leaders last year, Attorney General Paxton cautioned them against circumventing Texas law. But the City Council passed the sick leave ordinance by a 9-2 vote.
“San Antonio, Austin, Dallas and other cities cannot be allowed to pass their own laws simply because they dislike state law or disagree with the judgment of the state’s elected representatives,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The Legislature established the minimum amount of compensation for workers, and the Texas Constitution prohibits local municipalities from ignoring the Legislature’s decision.”