SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – The San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Commission is moving forward despite a lawsuit filed this week challenging the ordinance. Deputy City Attorney Edward Guzman Wednesday updated the commission on the suit.
“We’re reviewing that lawsuit, continuing to discuss with opposing counsel on that matter,” he said.
A hearing on the suit is tentatively scheduled July 24.
“It did track very closely the lawsuit that was filed against the Austin paid sick leave ordinance,” Guzman said. An appeals court declared Austin’s ordinance unconstitutional last year and it remains tangled up in litigation.
San Antonio’s Paid Sick Leave Commission met as scheduled Wednesday to discuss concerns with the ordinance. The panel is tasked with reviewing the rules and recommending changes, if necessary, to the city council for final approval.
Commission Chair Danielle Hargrove says the lawsuit came as no surprise.
“We’re going to keep meeting and trying to make this ordinance better and challenge-free until someone tells us not to,” she said.
The clock is ticking with the ordinance scheduled to go into effect August 1, but violators would not be assessed fines until April.
“We knew that it was probably going into effect and then we would have time before they actually go into enforcement in April to actually make the suggested changes,” Hargrove told KTSA News.
Alex Birnel, advocacy manager for Move Texas, says one of the main reasons they got involved was to help the younger workforce.
“We’re an organization that’s dedicated to giving the youth in Texas a voice in politics, and that includes organizing around issues that directly impact their lives,” said Birnel.
He also serves on San Antonio’s Paid Sick Leave Commision.
“It’s a fight for all workers, but primarily for the young people who are working in the service industries, the care industries and other jobs where paid sick time is severely lacking,” Birnel said. “This is really a fight for economic justice for our generation.