Austin City Council Passes Mandatory Sick Pay Ordinance

The Austin City Council passed a city-wide ordinance requiring mandatory sick leave.

Q When will the ordinance be effective?
A October 1, 2018
A Employers with 5 or less employees will be required to comply effective October
2020.

Q Who must comply?
A All private and non-profit employers. Public employers (government employers are
exempt)

Q How many sick days will employers be required to provide?
A 64 hours (8 days) for employers with 16+ employees.
A 48 hours (6 days) for employers with 15 or less employees.

Q In addition to providing sick leave, what do employer need to do?
A Employers must allow employees to take leave for physical and mental illness or injury,
chronic health issues and preventive treatment of either the employee or his or her
family members. It also covers certain absences due to legal or court-ordered action.
A Employers can’t ask for proof unless a worker will be out for more than three
consecutive days.
A Track employee leave and provide employees with their leave balances.
A Review their leave policies to make sure they are in compliance.

Q How many earned hours do part-time employees accrue?
A Employees will accrue paid sick leave at the rate of one hour per 30 worked.

Q Do unused sick time hours rollover?
A Yes, unused balances would roll over into the following year.

Q How are sick hour paid?
A Sick time hours would be paid as straight time.

Q What if I already provide PTO to employees?
A If you PTO policy currently does not provide time off for part-time and seasonal
employees, you must ensure your policy is updated to include part-time and seasonal
employees.

Q What happens if employers do not comply?
A The City of Austin’s Equal Employment Opportunity/Fair Housing Office is charged with
investigating violations. The city may assess a fine of up to $500 for violations.