Court Order Blocking Dallas Paid Sick Ordinance Is Especially Appalling During a Pandemic

Pressure groups, business interests and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton have cooperated in a full political and legal assault on earned paid sick ordinances in Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. Last night a federal court judge took their side and blocked the Dallas ordinance, leaving working families and young people vulnerable during a national health emergency. We just sent out this statement from Texas Rising.

Young, Part-time Workers Are Especially Vulnerable, Says Texas Rising Director

March 31, 2020

Texas Rising Director Rae Martinez has the following statement after a federal court late Monday blocked a Dallas ordinance requiring businesses to provide earned paid sick leave to employees:

“The political and legal assault on something as basic as earned paid sick leave is appalling, especially in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Paid sick leave helps working families and young people who are worried they will have to choose between taking care of themselves if they get sick and keeping a job that helps them pay the rent, keep the electricity on or cover their tuition. Many younger workers, in particular, are already struggling just to hold on to part-time, service-sector jobs that have been especially hit hard right now. They are even more vulnerable if they feel they can’t afford to even call in sick when they fall ill. To get through this crisis together, we should be protecting our workers and the most vulnerable among us. Instead of limiting earned paid sick leave for workers, we should be expanding it.”

Texas Rising activists supported the passage of earned paid sick leave ordinances in Dallas, Austin and San Antonio, testifying at public hearings and gathering signatures to put the measures on the ballot. The Texas Attorney General’s Office has joined lawsuits from businesses and other opponents seeking to overturn the ordinances. Court injunctions have at least temporarily blocked the ordinances in Austin and San Antonio.


Texas Rising, a project of the Texas Freedom Network, builds the power of a rising generation of young Texans, with an emphasis on communities of color, by advocating for change in the cities and towns where they live, and at the ballot box.