San Antonio Council Okays Mandatory Paid Sick Leave

San Antonio City Council this afternoon voted to approve a controversial petition-driven measure that would require that private companies provide paid sick leave for their employees, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

The debate sometimes got emotional, with Councilwoman Ana Sandoval's voice cracking as she described her working class parents' struggles as they tried to deal with family emergencies  in jobs that didn't pay sick leave.

But there was also a lot of push back. John Agather of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was among those showing opposition to the proposal.

"We are not opposed to paid sick leave, but this ordinance, a city mandated ordinance, is not reflective of what we in the business community need," he said.

But several workers groups like one headed by Michaelle Trevino, spoke out for the issue.

She rejected proposals that the Texas Legislature, not municipal government, should deal with this issue.

"Unfortunately, our state leadership is more concerned with making life harder for working Texans," she said.  "They are more focused on criminalizing local governments, migration, skin color, bathroom use, and women's bodies."

Mayor Nirenberg, who voted for the measure, said City Council does not have the luxury of waiting.

"We must approve this ordinance, or place it on the ballot in November," he said.

State Rep. Lyle Larson said today the measure is prohibited by Texas law, and he predicted that the Legislature is expected to vote to invalidate the ordinance.

A lawsuit is also pending against a similar ordinance approved by the City of Austin, and that lawsuit is expected to be extended to cover the San Antonio law.There is a one year waiting period before it takes effect.

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