United States: If Pain, Yes Gain—Part 64: Dallas Passes Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Despite Potential Legislative And Judicial Antidotes

Seyfarth Synopsis: On April 24, the Dallas City Council passed a paid sick leave ordinance making Dallas the latest Texas municipality to become infected by the nation's sick leave epidemic. Dallas joins Austin and San Antonio as the state's sick leave epicenters despite the continued development of potential legislative and judicial sick leave cures.

On April 24, 2019, the Dallas City Council passed the Earned Paid Sick Time ordinance (the "Dallas Ordinance"). Dallas is the third municipality in Texas to pass a paid sick leave ordinance. The Dallas Ordinance, which closely resembles the Austin and San Antonio paid sick leave ordinances,1 is scheduled to go into effect on August 1, 2019 for employers with more than five employees at any time in the preceding 12 months and on August 1, 2021 for all other employers.

Whether the Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin ordinances will ever go into effect is currently unclear as multiple pieces of legislation that would preempt all three ordinances make their way through the Texas state legislature. In addition to a potential legislative remedy, judicial cures to the local paid sick leave spread remain a possibility. Austin paid sick leave was scheduled to go into effect on October 1, 2018; however, nearly seven months later the city's ordinance is still not in effect and remains trapped in judicial limbo.

Specifically, and as previously reported, in November 2018 the Texas Court of Appeals for the Third District (the "Third District") granted a request to enjoin the Austin paid sick leave ordinance's effective date. The Third District determined that the Austin Ordinance violated the Texas Constitution because it is preempted by the Texas Minimum Wage Act. A petition for review of the Third District's decision by the Texas Supreme Court was filed on March 29, 2019.

In an attempt to rid the state of these local laws, on April 11, 2019, the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 2485 ("SB 2485"), which would prohibit Texas political subdivisions from adopting or enforcing any ordinance, order, rule, regulation, or policy mandating a private employer's terms of employment relating to employment benefits. Under SB 2485, the enacted paid sick leave ordinances in Austin, San Antonio and Dallas would be void and unenforceable. SB 2485 was referred to the Texas House of Representatives and is currently pending in the House State Affairs Committee, which held a public hearing on May 1, 2019 to discuss, among other topics, SB 2485.

The House of Representatives' own preemption bill, House Bill 222 ("HB 222"), is also pending with the House State Affairs Committee. However, it currently is unclear if and when further action will take place in connection with HB 222. Complicating matters further, the 2019 Texas legislative session is set to close on May 27, 2019.

Despite the potential for statewide preemption of local paid sick leave mandates and the judicial ruling that has at least temporarily cured Austin paid sick leave, the Dallas City Council opted to proceed with its own paid sick leave ordinance.

Here are some highlights of the Dallas Ordinance:

  • Definition of Employee: The Dallas Ordinance defines employee as an individual who performs at least 80 hours of work for pay in Dallas in a year for an employer, including work performed through the services of a temporary employment agency. The Dallas Ordinance, however, excludes independent contractors, as defined by the Texas Administrative Code, and unpaid interns from the definition of employee.
  • Definition of Employer: The Dallas Ordinance defines employer broadly, to include any person, company, corporation, firm, partnership labor organization, non-profit organization, or association that pays an employee to perform work for an employer and exercises control over the employee's wages, hours, and working conditions. The Dallas Ordinance only excludes from coverage the United States, State of Texas, and City of Dallas governments and any agency that cannot be regulated by city ordinance.
  • Accrual Rate and Cap: Under the Dallas Ordinance, employees accrue one hour of earned paid sick time for every 30 hours worked for the employer in the City of Dallas, up to 64 hours of earned paid sick time per year for medium or large employees (defined as an employer with more than 15 employees at any time in the preceding 12 months, excluding the employer's family members) and 48 hours per year for all other employers.
  • Carryover: Employers must permit employees to carry over all available earned paid sick time up to the applicable yearly cap. Employers who frontload 64 or 48 hours of earned paid sick time, whichever is applicable, to employees at the beginning of the year, however, are not required to permit year-end carryover of unused time.
  • Usage Cap: The Dallas Ordinance allows employees to use up to eight days of earned paid sick time per year.
  • Reasons for Use: An employee may use available earned paid sick time for the following reasons: (1) the employee's physical or mental illness, physical injury, preventive medical or health care, or health condition; (2) the employee's need to care for their family member's physical or mental illness, physical injury, preventative medical or health care, or health condition;2 and (3) certain safe time reasons relating to the employee's or their family members' status as a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking.

While an antidote to local paid sick leave in Texas could arrive in the coming weeks, employers with operations in San Antonio and Dallas should consider taking the following actions:

  • Monitor judicial and potential legislative developments involving the Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas paid sick leave ordinances.
  • Review existing sick leave policies and either implement new policies or revise existing policies to satisfy the San Antonio and Dallas ordinances.
  • Review policies on attendance, call-in procedures, anti-retaliation, and discipline for compliance with the San Antonio and Dallas ordinances.
  • Develop a new paid sick leave policy that complies with the San Antonio and Dallas ordinances for any employees who are not covered under existing paid sick leave or PTO policies.


[1] Amid challenges to the Austin paid sick leave ordinance, in August 2018, San Antonio City Council passed a paid sick leave ordinance which is currently scheduled to go in effect in August 2019.

[2] Under the Dallas Ordinance, "family member" is defined to include a (1) spouse, (2) child, (3) parent, and (4) any other individual related by blood or whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions