What to know about the Sick & Safe Leave ordinance
Ordinance takes effect Dec. 1
SAN ANTONIO – Thousands of San Antonio workers could start taking sick leave on Dec. 1 when the city's new Sick and Safe Leave ordinance takes effect.
It has been a long road for the ordinance, which is still the subject of a lawsuit by a coalition of business groups. Assuming it goes into effect, though, here's what it means for you.
WHO DOES IT COVER?
About 340,000 people work in San Antonio and currently don't have paid time off, says Jennifer Herriott, interim director of the Metropolitan Health District. Under the new ordinance, San Antonio workers and those from other cities who work at least 240 hours a year in San Antonio — for example, construction workers on a job site — must be allowed to accrue at least 56 hours of paid sick and safe leave.
Both part-time and full-time employees are eligible for the leave, as are people working through a temporary or employment agency. Interns and independent contractors are not covered by the ordinance.
HOW DO I GET IT?
Employers must offer at least 56 hours of sick leave to their qualifying employees. They can provide it to the employees all at once at the beginning of the year, or they can require employees to accrue it gradually, one hour of leave for every 30 worked.
WHEN CAN I USE IT?
According to Metro Health, employees can take the leave to deal with a variety or health issues, such as injuries, illness, preventive care appointments and/or taking care of a family member.
They can also use it for taking time to deal with a domestic violence or sexual assault situation, through things such as moving to a safer home or seeing an attorney.
Employers are allowed to impose up to a 90-day eligibility period from an employee starting a job when they are not allowed to use the leave.
WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE?
Metro Health has information on its website, and it is hosting a series of information sessions beginning Wednesday, Oct. 16.
Click here for information about an information session on the new ordinance on Oct. 19.
Click here for a list of dates and locations for other information sessions.
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