Austin, Texas (January 26, 2018) The following comment was released today by the Greater Austin Chamber Board of Directors:
"Employee well-being, health and success is an issue we all care about. We recognize the ability for employers to determine how to offer their employees competitive compensation.
While mandated paid sick leave has been broadly discussed since Labor Day, a draft ordinance was not made public until less than a week ago. An Austin City Council vote has been called to occur just 19 business days later. The whole process is being unnecessarily rushed despite its potential impact on 30,000 Austin businesses. We respectfully request that Austin City Council contract with an unbiased, third-party local research institution to use local data and determine the cost to employers and government for implementing the proposed ordinance. The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is opposed to this ordinance if the Council does not contract for an appropriate independent study and does not provide the public 90 days to give feedback before they take a vote. At such point, the Chamber Board will be in a position to make an informed decision on this important issue.
The Chamber Board noted that the current draft ordinance doesn’t utilize Austin-specific data to determine the actual number of employed Austinites who lack access to paid sick leave. As currently drafted, the City of Austin would not be subject to its own ordinance. The draft ordinance doesn’t include an economic impact analysis. It doesn't identify how the administrative cost and burden will impact young Austinites seeking internships, small and local employers, and charitable and not-for-profit organizations. It also doesn't include an analysis of the cost to taxpayers for a City of Austin rollout, oversight and compliance. In summary, this current proposal has unintended and unknown impact."
Business members can take action by sending a letter to their City Council representative here.
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About the Greater Austin Chamber
The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce focuses on how the Austin Region works. We serve as the voice of business for 2,800 organizations representing a combined workforce of about 330,000 employees throughout Central Texas. Our mission is to provide leadership that facilitates the creation of a prosperous economy and effective advocacy for members. For more information, please visit AustinChamber.com.
Luke Sheffield, Public Relations Manager
Austin Chamber of Commerce