AUSTIN — A court has tossed out Austin's paid sick leave ordinance Nov. 16, saying that is violates the Texas Constitution.
The Austin-based Third Court of Appeals made the decision months after Austin City Council passed the ordinance. The court ruled that it violates the Texas Constitution because it is preempted by the Texas Minimum Wage Act.
"We reverse the district court’s order denying the Private Parties’ and the State’s application for a temporary injunction and remand this case to the district court with the instruction that it grant the requested temporary injunction and for further proceedings consistent with this opinion," according to the Texas Court of Appeals.
Click here to read the decision.
Attorney General Ken Paxton praised the court's decision.
"Today's appellate decision affirms that the Texas Minimum Wage Act expressly preempts cities like Austin from passing a different law simply because they disagree with the judgment of our state's elected representatives," AG Paxton said. "The Legislature has established the minimum amount of compensation for workers, and the Texas Constitution prohibits local municipalities from ignoring the Legislature's decision."
Representative Paul Workman was also happy with the decision.
"Today, small-business owners of Austin and in Texas received relief from an oppressive Austin city government. With today's ruling by the 3rd Court of Appeals, it's clear that Austin's unacceptable mandates on every private employer to give every employee mandatory leave from work will not stand," Rep. Workman said. "The state legislature and Governor must clearly spell out in law the fact the City of Austin and all local governments have no authority to further trample on the rights and liberties of the small-business owner, the 'little guy,' and all Texans.
In February, the Austin City Council voted to pass the ordinance, which would have required all employers in the city to offer employees paid sick leave. It would have made Austin the first city in Texas to do so.