The City of Austin’s Earned Sick Time Ordinance aims to address the needs of workers in Austin for limited time off for health and safety needs. The intent of the ordinance is also to reduce employee turnover and unemployment, and to benefit the local economy. The law requires employers to accrue sick time and allow employees to request payment for usage of sick time for personal illness or injury.

City of Austin Sick Time Ordinance

Administrative Rules

  • Based upon the Aug. 17, 2018 Third Court of Appeals Order in No. 03-18-00445-CV; Texas Association of Business et al. and The State of Texas, Intervenor v. City of Austin, Texas et al., The City is temporarily postponing the effective date for the Earned Sick Time Ordinance, No. 20180215-049, which is the subject of the rule. The rule-making process, including the appeals process outlined in section 1-2-10 of the City Code is temporarily abated while the Aug. 17, 2018, Order remains in effect.

Details and FAQs

The City of Austin Sick Time Ordinance will apply to all employers with six or more employees. For employers who have had five or fewer employees in the preceding 12 months, the Ordinance will be effective at a later date.

The Ordinance requires Employees earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked. Earned sick time is generally available for use as soon as it is accrued. An employer may restrict an employee from using sick time during the first 60 days of employment, but only if the employer establishes that the employee's term of employment is at least one year.  An employer may adopt reasonable verification procedures for use of earned sick time.

An "Employee" is defined as an individual who performs at least 80 hours of work in the City of Austin during a calendar year for an employer. Independent contractors and unpaid interns are not considered employees. An "Employer" is defined as "any person, company, corporation, firm, partnership, labor organization, non-profit organization or association" that pays an employee to perform work and exercises control over the employee. Federal, state, and local governments are not covered.

For more information, please view the FAQs or click here to view or download a PDF version of all FAQs

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