(Last updated March 19, 2020)
As the COVID-19 pandemic strikes and more employees stay home, employers should keep in mind that the Dallas Paid Sick Leave Ordinance remains in effect and will authorize penalties beginning April 1, 2020.
A little history—The Dallas Ordinance is modeled after similar laws in Austin and San Antonio, but courts blocked the Austin and San Antonio ordinances before their effective dates. The Supreme Court of Texas has been considering whether the Austin ordinance is unconstitutional, which could effectively invalidate ordinances like these statewide. But the Supreme Court of Texas has still not ruled, and a direct federal court challenge to the Dallas Ordinance has been pending unresolved for months.
So, although the Dallas Ordinance technically became effective months ago, in light of the uncertainty, Dallas announced it would not enforce the law, except for violations of the anti-retaliation provision, until April 1, 2020. Unfortunately, we are in the last half of March with no additional clarification from the courts. April 1 may arrive with the Dallas Ordinance fully intact.
Accordingly, employers should understand their obligations under the Dallas Ordinance. As a reminder, April 1 is when the City can issue written notices of violations after which there is a ten-day cure period. Without cure, penalties can be up to $500 per violation.
To read the breakdown of the Dallas Ordinance, see our previous alert: How to Navigate the Dallas and San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Ordinances, click here.
If you have questions about the Dallas Ordinance, please contact: