Dallas, TX Paid Sick Leave

July 01, 2019

On March 30, 2020, a federal court blocked the City of Dallas from enforcing its paid sick leave ordinance.

Update: On March 30, 2020, a federal court blocked the City of Dallas from enforcing its paid sick leave ordinance. It was stated that the PSL ordinance is preempted by the Texas Minimum Wage Act and therefore cannot be enforced under the Texas constitution.

At this time, employers no longer have the responsibility to provide paid sick leave to their employees within the city of Dallas.   

On April 24, 2019, Dallas became the third city with the state of Texas to adopt an ordinance requiring all private employers to provide paid sick leave to employees, following Austin and San Antonio. The effective date of this ordinance is August 1, 2019 but depending on the outcome of the pending legal and state legislative challenges against these types of ordinances, the Dallas ordinance may never go into effect.


The ordinance covers all private employers, but more leave must be provided by employers that had more than 15 employees at any time during the preceding year. Employees who perform at least 80 hours of work in a year in Dallas are covered, including those who perform work through a temporary employment agency. The ordinance does not cover independent contractors or unpaid interns.

Sick Leave Accrual and Entitlement

Employees accrue at least one leave hour for every 30 hours worked within the cities geographic boundaries. Leave must accrue in whole-hour units unless the employer has a written policy stating paid sick leave can accrue in fractions of an hour. The accrual cap depends on employer size; for those 16 or more employees the cap is 64 hours in a 12-month benefit period and for those with fewer than 15 employees the cap is 48 hours in a 12-month period. Employers may restrict use during the first 60 days of employment if the employee is guaranteed employment for at least one year.

The law also states that leave must accrue based on time worked during the calendar year unless the employer provides the employee with a written notice, at the commencement of employment or the effective date of the ordinance, that a different 12-consecutive-month period will be used.

Approved Uses

Paid Sick Leave can be used for absences due to an employee or family member’s illness, injury, or health condition, including preventive care. If an employee or family member is a victim of stalking, domestic abuse, or sexual assault, leave can also be used for medical reasons, to relocate, to obtain services from a victim services organization, and to participate in legal proceedings.

Covered family members include a child, parent, or spouse, or any other individual related by blood or whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.


The ordinance requires that employers provide monthly electronic or written statements to employees showing the amount of available leave. If an employer has an employee handbook, the handbook must include a notice of employee rights and remedies under the ordinance. Also, employers must conspicuously display any poster created by the city describing the law’s requirements in English and any other languages the city may eventually require. The law also requires employers to maintain records concerning accrued and used leave.

Additional Provisions

Under this ordinance, employers may allow employees to donate their accrued leave to coworkers or to voluntarily exchange hours or to trade shifts instead of using accrued leave. Employers may also advance leave to employees. If employees are transferred to a different facility, location, division, or job position with the employer, they keep pre-transfer accrued leave. The ordinance also provides that employees hired by a successor employer retain leave they accrued with the predecessor employer before the acquisition.

Next Steps

Like the Austin and San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Ordinances, we are monitoring the legal challenges currently being made within the state courts. We will provide updates as soon as they are available.

For more information regarding this ordinance, please click here.