News Roundup: Study Finds Half Of Hispanic Workers In Texas Do Not Have Paid Sick Days

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJune 6, 2018 5:19 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Approximately 4.3 million Texans, or 40 percent of the state’s workforce, do not have paid sick days, according to a new report from the Center for Public Policy Priorities.

Mia Ibarra, the deputy legislative and policy director for the progressive think tank says certain Texans are less likely to have paid sick days than others.

“Fifty percent of Hispanic workers lack access, which is incredibly alarming considering the state’s demographics,” she says.

In contrast, more than 60 percent of white, black and Asian Texas workers had access to paid sick days as of 2015. Ibarra says if Texas created a statewide paid sick days policy, it would level the playing field for employees.

“And we would ensure that no matter what you ZIP code, you have the ability to earn paid sick days at your job, and take care of yourself and your family when someone is ill, when someone needs preventative care and when someone needs to deal with a domestic violence or stalking incident,” Ibarra says.

Ibarra explains that right now, the workers least likely to have paid sick leave differs from city to city. For example, in San Antonio, people working in the food service industry are the least likely to receive this benefit.

“In Dallas, construction workers are the least likely to have access to paid sick days,” she says. “So the workers who are literally building the city are the least likely to be able to care for themselves when they’re injured – for example – or to have to go back to work prematurely when they suffer an injury on the job.”

Earlier this year, Austin became the first city in Texas to pass a citywide paid sick days ordinance. Ten states, including Arizona and California, have statewide paid sick days policies as well.

Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro, has a book coming out later this year. And as Trey Shaar with KUT News reports, that may mean Castro has ambitions beyond being a published author.

Julian and his twin brother Joaquin Castro are seen as rising stars in the Democratic Party. Joaquin is serving in the U.S. House, but since the end of the Obama administration, Julian has been out of a job. And he’s not been coy or evasive about it: he’s said he’s interested in running for president in 2020.

Dr. Brian Smith, a political scientist at St. Edward’s University in Austin, says a book tour is a relatively risk-free way to get some national exposure ahead of a possible run.

“It’s a great way to get out there, not get all the negative attention, and see what it looks like out there,” he says.   

Castro’s memoir, titled “An Unlikely Journey,” is scheduled for release about a month before this year’s midterm elections, after which, in many ways, the 2020 campaign begins.

Well, it’s official.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz will square off against late-night host Jimmy Kimmel in a one-on-one basketball game. Kimmel confirmed the basketball game Monday night on his show, “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

“So he challenged me to a game, and I accepted his challenge but I pointed out that after losing an election to a reality show host, maybe it wouldn’t be a great idea to lose a basketball game to a talk show host. And Ted responded, he wrote ‘fair point, but game…on.’ So this is happening,” Kimmel said.

The pair have agreed the loser of the game will donate $5,000 to the non-political charity of the winner’s choice.

The match is tentatively scheduled for Father’s Day weekend.