Nirenberg opposes proposed delay of paid sick leave ordinance

Judge to decide Wednesday on proposal to delay ordinance until Dec. 1

SAN ANTONIO – About two dozen advocates for the city's paid sick leave ordinance rallied Monday in front of the Bexar County Courthouse to voice their displeasure about the ordinance not going into effect Aug. 1 until courts decide the issue.

Advocates from the groups, MOVE Texas and Texas Organizing Project, held signs and chanted slogans.

"I just think it's ridiculous. You wouldn't want to go to a restaurant where your cook or server is sick because otherwise they aren't getting paid for that day," said Priscilla Saenz, one of the protesters.

The City Attorney's Office and opposing council representing various business on Friday agreed to hold off implementing the ordinance until Dec. 1. to allow additional time to refine the ordinance with the city's stakeholders.

"The proposed agreed order to delay implementation of the Paid Sick Leave Ordinance preserves the ordinance, the work of the Council-appointed Commission and the ability of the City Council to make timely adjustments to the ordinance, if it chooses," City Attorney Andy Segovia said in a statement. "By contrast, a court order indefinitely suspending implementation -- such as what happened in the City of Austin -- risks losing all of those things."

Mayor Ron Nirenberg disagrees with the delay and said he wants the ordinance to go into effect Aug. 1.

"Over the weekend, I made clear my desire to move forward with the Aug. 1 implementation of the earned paid sick leave ordinance as written and enacted. It would be best to address concerns through the paid sick leave commission after implementation," he said in a statement. "City attorney's staff acted in the manner they thought would best defend the ordinance. We share the same goal but not the same strategy. I remain firm in my opposition to a delay in implementing the earned paid sick leave ordinance."

District Judge Monique Diaz on Monday postponed a hearing until Wednesday to decide whether to hear the agreed order, saying the city and the opposing council didn't give the Texas Civil Rights Project three days notice about its plans.

About the Authors: