Austin City Council Considers Prescribing Paid Sick Leave For Private Employers

The requirement could put a strain on struggling small businesses.

By Audrey McGlinchyFebruary 14, 2018 9:30 am| , , , ,

From KUT:

Mornings at Hoover’s Cooking are spent hammering beef to make it thin enough for the restaurant’s best-selling dish: chicken fried steak.

“Other things that are good sellers are our fried catfish … and pork chops,” says Hoover Alexander, who has owned the restaurant on Manor Road since 1998.

Alexander said he’s weathered the highs and lows of the restaurant business, including recent trouble finding qualified workers. After losing a couple cooks in November, Hoover’s stopped serving breakfast on the weekends.

Now Alexander said he’s afraid he’ll have to cut back even more.

Austin City Council members are scheduled to vote Thursday on an ordinance requiring all private businesses in the city to offer at least eight paid sick days a year. Employees would accrue one hour of paid sick leave per 30 hours worked. Employers would be permitted to ask for verification of sickness if a worker takes more than three paid sick days in a row.

Under the proposed ordinance, employers can count any type of paid leave toward the eight paid sick days. Since employees at Hoover’s already get five days of paid vacation, Alexander would be required to offer only three more days.

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