San Antonio’s Mandatory Sick Leave Ordinance is Effective Soon

UPDATE: On July 19, 2019, San Antonio officials agreed to postpone the effective date of the ordinance until December 1st in response to a lawsuit from business groups.  Stay tuned for more details as negotiations play out to fine tune the ordinance.

The City of San Antonio recently passed a sick leave ordinance that goes into effect starting August 1, 2019.  Medium or large employers (those with more than 15 employees) are required to comply if they have employees working within the San Antonio city limits.  Small employers (15 or fewer employees) must comply by August 1, 2021.

A Quick Rundown

  • Employees are eligible if they work 80 or more hours within the city of San Antonio in a year.  (Part-time and temporary employees are eligible.)
  • Sick leave accrues at a rate of 1 hour per every 30 hours worked.  (It’s capped at 64 hours for medium and large employers and 48 hours for small employers.)
  • Paid sick leave can be used for the employee’s or the employee’s family member’s physical or mental illness or injury, preventative medical or health care, or health condition.
  • Even if your place of employment is outside the city and your employees live outside the city, if they are dispatched into the city limits to perform services for at least 80 hours during the year, they qualify. 
  • The ordinance will be enforced by the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District and violators will be subject to penalties. 

How to Prepare

If you already have a sick leave policy in place that exceeds the requirements of the ordinance, then you don’t have to do anything.  Otherwise, it’s recommended that you update the sick leave section of your employee handbook to comply. If you don’t have an employee handbook, provide employees with a copy of the ordinance.

For more information, review the City of San Antonio ordinance here.

Note:  Dallas has adopted a very similar ordinance to San Antonio.

Annette Goodson is a Senior Manager in the firm’s tax practice. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of The University of Texas at San Antonio, where she received a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Annette can be reached at 210.733.6611 or via email at