Council passes paid sick leave ordinance

February 16, 2018 - 1:04 am

AUSTIN (KJCE) -- Austin's City Council voted early Friday morning to pass an ordinance requiring businesses and non-governmental employers to offer paid sick leave to all employees.

The ordinance, which passed by a 9-2 vote, will go into effect beginning October 1. Micro-businesses, with five or fewer employees, will remain exempt from the new requirements until October 1, 2020.

Employers will be required to give employees one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 64 hours. Small businsses - defined as having 15 or fewer employees - will have a lower cap of 48 hours.

Employees can use the time on themselves, or to take care of a family member. Unused time can be carried over to the next year.

Employers who violate the ordinance will face a fine of up to $500.

Austin is the first city outside of the Northeast and West Coast to enact such an ordinance; some 28 cities and jurisdictions have enacted similar policies.

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