State Policy Network
Another day, another lawsuit for liberty

The Texas Public Policy Foundation filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of ESI/Employee Solutions, LP and Hagan Law Group LLC against the city of Dallas. The lawsuit alleges the city’s paid sick leave ordinance violates the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights of First Amendment freedom of association, Fourteenth Amendment equal protection, and Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable search and seizure.

The plaintiffs are both headquartered outside of Dallas but have employees that work in Dallas enough to earn leave under the ordinance.

“This lawsuit should not have been necessary. Texas courts have already found municipal ordinances mandating paid sick leave unconstitutional,” said Robert Henneke, TPPF’s general counsel and litigation director. “The numerous constitutional problems with Dallas’ ordinance demand a remedy—we aim to help provide it.”

TPPF filed a lawsuit against the city of Austin challenging its paid sick leave ordinance in April of last year. In November, the Third Court of Appeals agreed with TPPF that Austin’s paid sick leave ordinance is unconstitutional as the ordinance is preempted by the state’s minimum wage law. The city appealed the case which is now pending before the Texas Supreme Court.

San Antonio passed its own paid sick leave ordinance but agreed to delay implementation to allow the pending case against Austin to be litigated.

As the editorial board of the Paris News wrote, mandated paid sick leave is an “overreach by local governments seeking to set rules that don’t affect workplace safety or acceptable conditions. And it’s unwelcome here.”