Tuesday, April 24, 2018

TPPF leads lawsuit to rescue Austinites from #atxcouncil's MANDATORY "Sick Leave" Entitlement....

"Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?"
Matthew 20:15

Back in February, during our testimony against council's "sick leave" entitlement, we called the ordinance "a hot mess"; we didn't realize just how hot of a mess it actually was.

This morning, TPPF filed a lawsuit on behalf of several trade associations challenging both the statutory and (Texas) constitutional authorization of the city's ordinance.

TPPF's primarily argues that the city ordinance violates the Texas Minimum Wage act.  Specifically, the city ordinance violates how state law defines "hours worked."  The relevant state law also has provisions dealing with sick leave specifically.  We're not a lawyer, but this strikes us as a slam dunk.

Here's the hilarious part: The "hours worked" provision is a direct result of how Greg Casar drafted the ordinance.  Had Casar actually listened to some of his critics during the drafting process, he could have avoided this grounds.  Major-league unforced error on Casar's part.

Besides the state law violation, TPPF also argues that the Texas constitutions' "equal protection" and "lawful search and seizures" clauses.  On equal protection grounds, the ordinance exempts certain union employees.  On lawful search and seizures, the city is arbitrarily claiming enforcement powers without judicial oversight or due process (very similarly to what they did on the short-term rental ordinance).  This was another dumb, unforced, error on Casar's part.

TPPF will be seeking a temporary injunction to block implementation of the ordinance; the hearing is likely to be on May 29th.

Bottom Line: The legislature remains likely to knock out this ordinance.  But the lawsuit is a good back-up plan.  That the lawsuit is a direct result of the heavy-handed arrogance shown throughout the drafting process makes it that much more deserved....


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