Texas has a reputation for being pro-business and anti-regulation.
But it looks like the city of Dallas didn’t get the word.
Last week, by a 10-4 vote, the Dallas City Council passed an ordinance that would force all businesses to offer paid sick leave to their employees or face a $500 fine.
The ordinance requires companies to credit an employee with one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked to a maximum of 64 hours of sick leave a year.
The city already mandates two paid 15 minute breaks during a working shift. But according to an editorial last week in the Dallas Morning News, the law isn’t enforced because the city lacks any way to enforce it.
What is particularly odious about the sick leave ordinance is that it would give the city the power to subpoena businesses’ employment records to ensure compliance.
This isn’t the first time a Texas city has taken such a stand. Both San Antonio and ultra-progressive Austin passed similar ordinances. Austin is mired in a court challenge after their ordinance was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge.
And there is a bill that passed the state Senate that forbids cities from requiring sick leave, though its fate in the House is uncertain.
Texas has seen its economy grow while other, more “progressive” states are losing out. Companies like a stable regulatory environment. As such business regulations — what there are of them — should be set by the state Legislature and apply statewide. It would be a shame if a few of the state’s more liberal cities could derail the Lone Star’s State’s remarkable economic growth.
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