AUSTIN, Texas -- Some members of Austin City Council are concerned by an effort to require paid sick leave for all employees in the city.

Currently, that would also include the city government's temporary workers, who are not offered the benefit.

The business community has largely come out against the plan, saying it could result in layoffs or other unintended consequences. The Texas Association of Business, as well as the Austin Chamber of Commerce, have taken official positions against the requirement.


Under one proposal, every company doing business within the City of Austin would have to set aside an hour of sick pay for every 30 hours an employee worked.

Another proposal, brought forward by District 6 Council Member Jimmy Flannigan, would exempt companies with five or fewer employees. It would also create more ways for companies to offer paid sick leave, he said.

"I am really trying to get to a place where where we are passing a paid sick leave policy that can be implemented," Flannigan said. "I don't think that we should be afraid of math or complications that make it a more nuanced proposal."

State law prohibits either policy from applying to the city's more than 100,000 government workers. That includes employees of the University of Texas, State of Texas, Travis County and area school districts.

Rep. Paul Workman, R-Austin, said he will preempt any sick leave policy at the state level.

"The State of Texas must and will protect the citizens from out-of-control city governments that harm our private-sector job-creators and economy," he said.