businessman sick and sleeping on home wicker bench with newspaper over head

TX: Austin Passes Earned Sick Time Ordinance

Employees Earn One Hour of Earned Sick Time for Every 30 Hours Worked

The City of Austin has passed an earned sick time ordinance. Highlights of the ordinance are presented below.

Covered Employers and Employees

All private employers are generally covered by the ordinance. To be eligible for earned sick time, employees must work in Austin for an employer (including work performed through the services of a temporary or employment agency) for pay for at least 80 hours in a calendar year.

Accrual and Use

An employer must grant an employee one hour of earned sick time for every 30 hours worked in Austin. Employers are not required to allow employees to accrue more than the yearly cap of earned sick time. The yearly cap depends on employer size, as follows:

  • For small employers (no more than 15 employees at any time in the preceding 12 months, excluding family members), the yearly cap is 48 hours of earned sick time per year.
  • For medium or large employers (more than 15 employees at any time in the preceding 12 months, excluding family members), the yearly cap is 64 hours of earned sick time per year.

An employee may request earned sick time for an absence from scheduled work time caused by certain events (§ D). However, the ordinance does not require any employer to allow an employee to utilize earned sick time on more than 8 calendar days in a given calendar year.

Employer Notice and Effective Dates

Employers must display a sign describing the requirements of the ordinance in at least English and Spanish in a conspicuous place (or places) where employee notices are customarily posted.

An employer that provides an employee handbook to its employees must include in the handbook notice of employee rights and remedies under the ordinance. Also, at least monthly, an employer must provide each employee with a statement (electronically or in writing) showing the amount of the employee’s available earned sick time.

The ordinance is expected to take effect on October 1, 2018, pending the mayor’s signature. However, for an employer with no more than 5 employees at any time in the preceding 12 months (excluding family members), the ordinance is not effective until October 1, 2020. Click here for additional details.

Note: Certain provisions of the ordinance may be subject to change upon final approval by the mayor. Stay tuned for additional updates regarding the ordinance.