Business Groups Appeal to City to Repeal Mandatory Sick Leave Law

Pressure is building on Mayor Nirenberg to lead the effort to dismantle the controversial city ordinance requiring private employers to provide sick leave pay to their workers, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Several area business groups, including the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, the San Antonio Area Tourism Council, the South San Antonio Chamber, the Greater San Antonio Builders Association, and the San Antonio Manufacturers Association today called on City Council to repeal the ordinance, which they say is 'unlawful and unconstitutional.'

And it appears that the business groups have the law on their side.  A Texas Appeals Court last month ruled that an identical ordinance that was approved by the Austin City Council, after receiving petitions from the same activists groups, is a violation of the Texas Minimum Wage Law, which forbids communities from setting minimum wages different than the minimum wage set by the state. 

 The court said when the government mandates that a person be paid for doing no work, the government is ordering that person receive a different minimum wage, and that is illegal.

Several measures introduced in the Texas Legislature also seek to have local mandatory sick leave ordinances overturned.The business groups say issues involving on the job pay and benefits should be left to the employer and the worker, and should not be dictated by local government.

The groups have written letters to Nirenberg and members of City Council, urging that the new city ordinance, which is set to take effect in February, be repealed.

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