Austin City Council members voted early Friday to require all private employers in the city to provide employees at least six to eight days of paid sick leave, depending on the size of the company.The vote was 9 to 2, with Ora Houston and Ellen Troxclair voting no.Austin is believed to be the first city in Texas to regulate paid sick time. who lives and who dies, who has health care and who doesn't have health care.This has all been about organizing people around reducing that inequality," said Council Member Greg Casar, who spearheaded the new rules."By passing this ordinance, if somebody works for a company and somebody else works for another company, there isn't some people with paid sick days and some people without." By October, a business employing 15 or more workers will be required to offer eight days of paid sick leave a year, while companies employing six to 15 people will be required to provide six.
Mayor Steve Adler said the data don't bear out these concerns.“Cities that have done this do not see the extent of impact people are anxious about,” he said.“I just don’t think the harm’s going to be what people anticipate.” At least nine states and a number of cities outside those states currently mandate paid sick leave.Several studies have found the financial impact on local businesses to be minimal.A year after Seattle passed an ordinance in 2011 requiring all employers with five or more employees to provide at least five paid sick days a year, researchers with the University of Washington began surveying employers.
When asked to sum up their findings, associate professor Jennifer Romich said, “Employers knew about it, they did it and it wasn’t all that hard.” According to the study, 8.2 percent of employers raised prices to compensate for providing paid sick leave, while 6.4 percent of surveyed employers reported having to decrease bonus pay or raises.