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Judge temporarily blocks San Antonio’s paid sick leave ordinance

Paid sick leave advocates rally at Bexar County Courthouse/KTSA Photo-Elizabeth Ruiz

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – San Antonio’s Sick and Safe Leave ordinance will not go into effect December 1.

State District Judge Peter Sakai on Friday granted a temporary injunction requested by a coalition of businesses challenging the ordinance in court.  The ordinance requires companies, large and small, to offer one hour of paid sick leave for every thirty hours worked, with a maximum of 56 hours of earned paid sick leave per year.   It can be used if  they’re sick,  or if they or a family member has  suffered domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking.

Attorney Ricardo Cedillo represents the coalition of businesses suing the city in an effort to keep the ordinance from being enacted.  He’s pleased with the judge’s decision to issue a temporary injunction to keep it from going into effect as the lawsuit make its way through the court.

“Yes, the business community won this one, but we’re not gloating about that,” Cedillo told KTSA News.  “I can assure you, there’s tremendous respect for the city council who listened to the citizens and tried to address their needs.”

Cedillo claims this is a state matter, not a local issue.

“Anything that affects wages, the state has clearly said a municipality is preempted from passing ordinances on that subject,” Cedillo said.

Judge Sakai also ordered that a date for a trial “be set as soon as possible.”

Drew Galloway, Executive Director of MOVE Texas, says the delay of implementation of the earned sick time ordinance is “an attack on the hundreds of thousands of working people in San Antonio who fought for the right to paid sick time.”

He notes that more than 140,000 San Antonio residents petitioned the city for paid sick leave.

“We believe that no young worker should have to choose between paying their bills and maintaining their health,” said Galloway.

Developing story…check back for updates


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