Lawsuit Challenges Dallas Paid Sick Leave Ordinance


On July 30, 2019, a lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas seeking to enjoin the City of Dallas’s paid sick leave ordinance, which is set to take effect on August 1, 2019. The lawsuit, filed by the Texas Public Policy Foundation on behalf of two Collin County, Texas, employers, alleges that the ordinance impermissibly creates a distinction between union and nonunion employers by allowing only unionized employers to modify the annual accrual cap required by the ordinance. Unlike previous challenges to Austin’s and San Antonio’s ordinances, the Dallas lawsuit challenges the ordinance on the basis that it violates the freedom of association under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

It is unlikely that the court will issue a ruling on the motion for preliminary injunction prior to the ordinance’s August 1 effective date. It also appears unlikely that the City of Dallas will agree to delay the ordinance. Dallas employers may want to weigh the risk of delaying the implementation of paid sick leave until after the court issues a ruling, especially in light of the city’s guidance that it will not assess penalties until April 1, 2020 (except for complaints of retaliation).

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