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Paid Sick Days for Austinites

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On September 28, 2017, the Austin City Council directed staff to get feedback from the community that might inform a future paid sick days policy for private employers in Austin. According to that resolution:

  • Low-income workers are significantly less likely to have paid sick time than other members of the workforce
  • Approximately 37% of workers in the City of Austin lack paid sick time
  • Latino and African-American workers are less likely to have paid sick time than workers in any other racial or ethnic group
  • Paid sick time can result in reduced worker turnover for employers
  • 33 cities and eight states have passed paid sick leave policies

This is the next step in a conversation that started with the Work Strong Coalition in 2015. The feedback we gain through this process will be shared back with the Austin City Council in December for consideration of a future policy.

Below, you'll find several ways to engage in the process. In the FORUM, you'll find a series of questions related to the Council's resolution. Here, you can provide specific policy feedback. In the STORIES, you can provide your personal story of how having - or not having - paid sick leave has affected you and your family. And soon, we'll post a SURVEY with more specific questions related to policy development.

Thank you for your participation, and please follow this conversation for updates and invitations to new opportunities along the way!





On September 28, 2017, the Austin City Council directed staff to get feedback from the community that might inform a future paid sick days policy for private employers in Austin. According to that resolution:

  • Low-income workers are significantly less likely to have paid sick time than other members of the workforce
  • Approximately 37% of workers in the City of Austin lack paid sick time
  • Latino and African-American workers are less likely to have paid sick time than workers in any other racial or ethnic group
  • Paid sick time can result in reduced worker turnover for employers
  • 33 cities and eight states have passed paid sick leave policies

This is the next step in a conversation that started with the Work Strong Coalition in 2015. The feedback we gain through this process will be shared back with the Austin City Council in December for consideration of a future policy.

Below, you'll find several ways to engage in the process. In the FORUM, you'll find a series of questions related to the Council's resolution. Here, you can provide specific policy feedback. In the STORIES, you can provide your personal story of how having - or not having - paid sick leave has affected you and your family. And soon, we'll post a SURVEY with more specific questions related to policy development.

Thank you for your participation, and please follow this conversation for updates and invitations to new opportunities along the way!



Discussions: All (6) Open (0)
  • CLOSED: This discussion has concluded. We are now reviewing all participant feedback and preparing our final report back to Council.

    What employees should be specifically covered under a policy like this? For instance, should it only be for hourly employees, temporary workers, service workers, or all workers? Are there specific types of employees not mentioned that should be considered? Please be as specific as you can. 

    What employees should be specifically covered under a policy like this? For instance, should it only be for hourly employees, temporary workers, service workers, or all workers? Are there specific types of employees not mentioned that should be considered? Please be as specific as you can. 

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  • CLOSED: This discussion has concluded. We are now reviewing all participant feedback and preparing our final report back to Council.

    For instance, should paid time be allowed to cover only personal sick time, or should it also cover issues like family illness, domestic violence, criminal justice-related appointment like parole meetings, mental health, or other issues? Please be as specific as you can. 

    For instance, should paid time be allowed to cover only personal sick time, or should it also cover issues like family illness, domestic violence, criminal justice-related appointment like parole meetings, mental health, or other issues? Please be as specific as you can. 

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  • CLOSED: This discussion has concluded. We are now reviewing all participant feedback and preparing our final report back to Council.

    Sick time is often provided as a percentage of hours worked. For instance, a worker may earn one hour of sick leave for ever 40 hours worked. It could also be provided as a fixed amount on a weekly, monthly or annual basis. There are a variety of options. Which do you think would work best? How much time should workers expect to earn on an annual basis? 

    Sick time is often provided as a percentage of hours worked. For instance, a worker may earn one hour of sick leave for ever 40 hours worked. It could also be provided as a fixed amount on a weekly, monthly or annual basis. There are a variety of options. Which do you think would work best? How much time should workers expect to earn on an annual basis? 

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  • CLOSED: This discussion has concluded. We are now reviewing all participant feedback and preparing our final report back to Council.

    There is often a "waiting period" or "probational period" before employees can begin to earn sick time. Should this be part of any policy proposal? If so, what is a reasonable period between initial employment and when an employee begins earning sick time? 

    There is often a "waiting period" or "probational period" before employees can begin to earn sick time. Should this be part of any policy proposal? If so, what is a reasonable period between initial employment and when an employee begins earning sick time? 

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  • CLOSED: This discussion has concluded. We are now reviewing all participant feedback and preparing our final report back to Council.

    Sometimes, earned sick leave might "carry over" from one year to the next. So, if you did not use sick leave, it would be added to the following year's earned leave. Other times, there may be a "use it or lose it" policy where earned sick time expires at the end of the year if unused. Should the Council be considering one of these, or some combination of the two? 

    What process makes sense for employees who need to access sick time? Sometimes, an employer may have all employees pay in to a shared "leave bank" that all can draw...Read more

    Sometimes, earned sick leave might "carry over" from one year to the next. So, if you did not use sick leave, it would be added to the following year's earned leave. Other times, there may be a "use it or lose it" policy where earned sick time expires at the end of the year if unused. Should the Council be considering one of these, or some combination of the two? 

    What process makes sense for employees who need to access sick time? Sometimes, an employer may have all employees pay in to a shared "leave bank" that all can draw from. In other cases, the hours are accrued to the individual employee. Also, what protections might need to be in place to ensure that an employee is not denied use of earned sick time? 

    Finally, there are varying requirements for how employees must notify their employer. For instance, is there a specific and reasonable advance notice that should be required? Should there be other requirements to ensure that the employer has sufficient coverage to operate their business?

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  • CLOSED: This discussion has concluded. We are now reviewing all participant feedback and preparing our final report back to Council.

    What is a reasonable process the City might use to enforce an ordinance if passed? 

    What is a reasonable process the City might use to enforce an ordinance if passed? 

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