Bill Filed in Lege to Overturn San Antonio's Mandatory Sick Leave Law

It just took a few hours after the period to file bills for the 2019 Legislature opened for a measure to be introduced to overturn the San Antonio city ordinance approved last summer that requires employers to pay sick leave for their workers, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Key Republican leaders have said they are certain the measure will pass and be signed by Gov. Abbott, and even San Antonio City Council members who voted for the measure said they anticipate it will never become law.

The measure to require all employers pay sick leave to full time workers was the result of a petition drive mounted by labor and liberal activist groups.

But Hoover Alexander, a restaurant owner who already offers his workers sick pay, told News Radio 1200 WOAI the Council handled the issue all wrong, and he wishes it would have been done differently.

"I really would like a carrot approach and not a stick approach," he said.  "This is an example of government becoming heavy handed and forcing people to do what has happened."

Many employers spoke out when the measure was being considered by City Council that in would cost them more in compliance costs than in what they would pay in the sick leave themselves.  The ordinance includes provisions for auditing a small businesses accounts if one employee complains about being denied sick pay.  Family owned companies would have to pay attorneys and accountants to prepare their records, and could face punishing fines for failure to comply.

Sources at City Hall privately told 1200 WOAI news that the reason City Council approved the bill rather than place it on the November ballot was a fear that supporters of paid sick leave would flock to the polls on Election Day and would also support that ballot measure to make it easier for voters to overturn the acts of City Council, a measure that was convincingly defeated last week.

Supporters argued that some 300,000 workers in San Antonio don't get paid sick leave, and that results in those workers going to work sick, which is never good when the workers are in the food service industry.

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