Paid Sick Days for Austinites

Consultation has concluded

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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!



During City Council testimony in September, we heard many personal stories about how paid sick leave makes a difference for our workers and employers. We'd like to continue the conversation here, ind invite you to share your own personal story about how having - or not having - paid sick leave affects your life and that of your family. 

Thank you for sharing your story. All of these stories will be shared with the Mayor and City Council as part of our December report. Thank you, too, for being a part of the SpeakUp! community. Your stories and feedback are vital to our success as a community. 

Sincerely, 
The City of Austin Community Engagement Team

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
  • Mother dying of cancer - I need Paid Sick Days ASAP

    by Mark McKim, about 2 years ago

    Dear City of Austin Staff,

    My name is Mark McKim and I am a Substitute Teacher with Austin ISD. Substitute teachers don't receive any benefits such as health insurance, paid sick days or bereavement.  Three weeks ago, my mother was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer, and our family was devastated. I decided to take a week off of work in order to go visit and help take care of my mother in Garland, and sadly, lost $500 of much needed income.  It's quite unfortunate that in order to visit and support my now dying mother, I will... Continue reading

  • Paid Sick Leave

    by Renee787, about 2 years ago

     This policy could put even more small Austin businesses out of business and give more and more power to big chain businesses that are not owned by Austinites! We need to support local small business. The City is being over-run by big corporations and they can already afford sick leave for their employees. This will only hurt Austin owned small businesses! Paid sick leave is something that should not be passed by the City! It is something that each person owning a business must decide for themselves.

  • Paid Sick Leave Would Be Detrimental to This Locally Owned and Operated Business

    by EN, about 2 years ago

    I own a mobile food trailer.  The majority of my employees are students or others looking to pick up extra shifts on weekends and holidays intermittently when not working at their other, "real job".  As a small business, there is absolutely no way I could afford to pay sick leave to my employees.  We are a local business which has been open since 1993, and over the past 24 years have employed about 30 part-time employees annually, with very low turnover, especially for a service industry job.  It is common for our employees to return for 4 or 5 seasons,... Continue reading

  • I like having a job

    by Rob Turk, about 2 years ago

    Having a job makes it possible for me to retain a home, pay taxes, and contribute to society.  If you institute a policy that makes it more difficult for small- to medium-sized businesses in Austin to exist here by mandating paid-time off policies, you will drive those businesses (and all their jobs) out of Austin.  If that is what you want, great, but if you don't want to kill businesses, don't implement anything like this.  Please stick to keeping the streets safe and clean and stay the hell out of peoples' business where you don't belong.