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Workers Defense Project, a small business and a local electrician join paid sick leave lawsuit

Friday, May 11, 2018 by Katy McElroy

In response to the lawsuit against the paid sick leave ordinance that was filed against the city in April, the Texas Civil Rights Project yesterday filed a motion to intervene on behalf of the Workers Defense Project, electrician Joe Hernandez and restaurant L’Oca d’Oro, who will now join the case as defendants. The Texas Public Policy Foundation filed the lawsuit challenging the city’s paid sick leave ordinance, which was approved by City Council in February, on behalf of several business groups. Less than a week later, Attorney General Ken Paxton joined. The policy, which is scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 1, passed by a Council vote of 9-2, with Council members Ellen Troxclair and Ora Houston dissenting. “I think it’s hugely irresponsible for us to be voting on such a major decision that’s going to impact our budget before we have any idea of the fiscal implications,” said Troxclair before the vote. “I’m really disappointed that this process has moved so quickly.” In a press release, José P. Garza, executive director of the Workers Defense Project, explained why the group filed the Petition in Intervention: “Today in Austin, working families are fighting back. Right now, there are almost a quarter of a million people working in Austin who don’t have paid sick days. At Workers Defense, we believe that every person who works in Austin should have the opportunity to earn paid sick days. And people should be able to use those days to care for themselves or a loved one. There are businesses in Austin that already provide paid sick days because it’s good for their workers, it’s good for their business, and for overall health.”

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This whisper has been corrected to clarify the nature of the lawsuit. 

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