District 6 Council Member Jimmy Flannigan proposed an alternative paid sick leave ordinance early Monday, three days before Austin City Council is scheduled to vote on one sponsored by District 4 Council Member Greg Casar.
“While our typical process is to submit amendments to a provided ordinance, in this case, due to the complexity, I felt it more prudent to offer an alternative in total," Flannigan wrote in a post to the council’s public message board.
Unlike Casar’s draft ordinance, which was developed after a months-long public input process, Flannigan’s version exempts certain “micro-businesses"— those with five employees or fewer—from providing paid sick leave. Per Flannigan's ordinance, micro-business owners would be allowed to provide unpaid sick leave to their employees and still be in compliance.
Additionally, Flannigan’s ordinance proposes tiers of sick day accrual according to the size of the business.
For example, a full-time employee at a business with 6-49 employees can earn up to 40 hours, or five days, of paid sick time a year, according to Flanigan's proposal. A full-time employee at a business with 50 or more employees, however, can earn up to 60 hours, of 7.5 days, of paid sick time a year.
Flannigan’s version also includes a reporting requirement and a provision that prohibits an employee for requesting additional shifts and then getting paid sick leave for those shifts if requested within three days. These changes are "intended to tighten-up areas I felt were too undefined, to fix some areas of concern, and to enable employees to organize and develop their own benefits package," according to his post.
Flannigan said he will present his proposal at a city council work session on Tuesday ahead of Thursday’s council meeting, when members are scheduled to vote on Casar’s version.
Following the work session, Flannigan's proposal may be voted on Thursday as a substitute for Casar's version, according to a spokesperson from Flannigan's office.