S.A. Chamber Says It Will Fight San Antonio Mandatory Sick Pay Ordinance

The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce today came out strongly against the City's mandatory sick pay law, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

The Chamber, which is the largest business group in the city, is not a part of the business lawsuit that resulted in the implementation of the ordinance being pushed back until December first, but President Richard Perez said the Chamber has filed an amicus brief with the Texas Supreme Court, urging the high court to throw out an identical ordinance approved by the City of Austin, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

"Unless the Texas Supreme Court overturns the Third Court's ruling, the Austin ordinance is illegal; and, by extension, we believe the San Antonio ordinance would also be in violation of state law," Chamber President Richard Perez said.

The Third Court of Appeals has placed Austin's ordinance on hold, but since San Antonio is not in the Third Court's jurisdiction, its ruling did not affect the local law.

The Court ruled that the Austin law violates the Texas Minimum Wage Act, which forbids local governments from raising the minimum wage above the level set by the state. The court reasoned that if employers are required to pay workers for hours that employees don't work, that results in a wage they are mandated to pay being higher than the Texas minimum wage, which is illegal.

Perez says the San Antonio ordinance is 'local infringement on private employer rights.'

"Let me be clear, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce does not oppose sick leave. However, we do oppose municipally mandated employee benefits and pay, and we strongly reaffirm the rights of private employers to determine the best and most efficient way to operate a successful business, while remaining competitive in attracting and retaining a talented workforce," Perez said.

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