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Judge Blocks Dallas Employee Sick Leave Ordinance Set To Begin April 1

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - A federal judge has stopped the City of Dallas from enforcing an ordinance that requires private businesses to offer paid sick leave.

District Judge Sean Jordan granted a preliminary injunction on Monday to stop enforcement of the order.

Judge Jordan ruled that Texas state law prevents individual cities from enacting their own sick leave ordinances. He said decisions about orders of this nature should be made by the Texas Legislature, not local municipalities.

The ruling said, ".. the Dallas paid sick leave ordinance runs afoul of both federal and state constitutions and is therefore unenforceable."

The Dallas City Council approved the sick leave ordinance on April 24, 2019 that required that employees at businesses in the city earn paid sick time. The ordinance actually went into effect in August, but the City wasn't set to start enforcing it until April 1.

The now on-hold ordinance required employers to grant one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked by an employee. That meant employees working for medium or large businesses in Dallas could earn up to 64 hours of sick leave. Those getting paid by small employers could earn up to 48 hours leave. Independent contractors were excluded.

After the injunction was granted, a group supporting the law, the Texas Organizing Project, issued a statement that said, in part, "As a pandemic shatters the health and financial stability of millions across the nation, this court ruling is particularly insidious and a slap in the face to the hundreds of thousands of workers who keep Dallas running."

Though the ordinance went into effect in 2019 its implementation was set to happen that deadly COVID-19 outbreak that has sickened nearly 3,000 in Texas, with Dallas County leading the state with more than 550 cases.


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