Judge Pushes Back Hearing on San Antonio's Paid Sick Time Rule

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AFL-CIO's Linda Chavez Thompson fires up the crowd in front of City Hall after Working Texans for Paid Sick Time delivered its signed petitions to city officials. - SANFORD NOWLIN
  • Sanford Nowlin
  • AFL-CIO's Linda Chavez Thompson fires up the crowd in front of City Hall after Working Texans for Paid Sick Time delivered its signed petitions to city officials.
A Bexar County judge has delayed an emergency hearing on San Antonio's paid sick time ordinance, agreeing that supporters of the measure were not given enough time to prepare.

Bexar County Judge Monique Diaz pushed back the hearing from Monday to Wednesday after supporters told her they weren't given the state-mandated three days' notice of the court date, according to Texas Public Radio.



The law was set to go into effect August 1, but San Antonio's city attorney struck a deal with business groups that are suing over the new law and agreed to push back implementation to December 1.

The hearing before Diaz will decide whether that delay can take legally take place.



Social-justice and labor activists petitioned to get the paid sick time ordinance passed by San Antonio's city council last year. The law protects workers from being financially penalized when they become ill or need to take care of a sick family member, they argue.

However, business groups, including the San Antonio Restaurant Association, claim the rule puts an unfair burden on employers. Austin faced a court battle over a similar policy that ended with a state appellate court ruling that its ordinance violates the state constitution.

Members of groups including the Texas Organizing Project, which helped with the petition drive, said they have dug in to defend the rule. Around 140,000 San Antonians signed the petition supporting the measure.

“Today, the people of San Antonio are still in this fight,” TOP organizer Joleen Garcia told the Express-News. “We’re ready to continue and defend paid sick days, and what happened today in the court room was a showing that we do belong at the table.”

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