AUSTIN, Texas — Hundreds filed into the final input meeting before City Council puts together a preliminary paid sick leave ordinance. Council gave the green light for the public input process in September.

Data gathered by the City Council found: 

  • 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

Advocates for such a measure say about a third of workers don't have access to paid sick leave.

Opponents say it will create burdens for small businesses.

One man at the meeting says his type one diabetes means he misses out on income when he calls in sick.

“In my case I make sure I get well so I don’t miss more days and that’s about all you can do,” says local cook Julius Casey.

City officials have been gathering public input about the plan, and the Council will publicly release an ordinance in January so the language can be debated in February.​