February 14, 2018/Media, Press

Texas Democrats join Work Strong Austin & Progressive Allies to Demand Paid Sick Days for Austin Workers

Austin, TX – On Tuesday, Work Strong Austin, Texas Democrats, and progressive allies gathered at Austin City Hall to urge city council members to vote for paid sick leave. If passed, it would make Austin the first city in Texas and the first city in the South with paid sick leave.

Livestream of the Press Conference from Work Strong Austin


Austin City Council Member Greg Casar

“Our ordinance recognizes that everyone gets sick and that no one should have to choose between their job and taking care of their health.”

Austin City Council Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo

“Every Austin family should have that ability to stay home when they are sick or a when someone in their family is sick.”

Austin City Council Member Pio Renteria

“It’s an injustice, what’s going on in our city. Especially a city as prosperous as Austin.”

Austin City Council Mayor Steve Adler:

“Paid sick leave helps keep our city safe and healthier.”

Workers Defence Fund Executive Director Jose P. Garza:

“We believe every man and woman who works in Austin deserves to earn paid sick leave to take care of themselves or a family member in the event of an illness”

Center for Public Policy and Priorities Executive Director Ann Beeson:  

“It puts us ALL at risk when workers have to work when sick.”

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes Executive Director Yvonne Gutierrez:

“We call on Austin City Council to stand against delay and to stand for paid sick days for all women and men who work in Austin.”

Education Austin President Ken Zarifis:

“It’s a great thing to talk about being a progressive, but it’s another thing to act. What we’re saying is, if we truly are progressive, then let’s act [on paid sick leave].”

Texas Democratic Party Executive Director Crystal K. Perkins:

“Texas Democrats believe healthcare is a right. Our Texas Democratic Party platform supports paid sick leave in all employment contracts and calls us to fight for that right.”

Myth Busting:

LIE: Koch-backed groups say paid sick leave creates financial burdens on business owners.

FACT:  A cost-benefit analysis of paid sick leave in Austin by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research shows a net savings for business and the overall community of roughly $8.2 million.
The Center for Economic and Policy Research said, “What we found is that it had virtually no effect on business operations.” The research group has studied the effects of these rules on businesses, including in New York City and the state of Connecticut. [KUT Austin, February 13, 2018]