New Analysis Confirms Economic Benefits of Proposed Paid Sick Leave Ordinance in Austin

Communities and businesses in Austin could see over $8 million in annual net savings should Austin implement the paid sick leave ordinance sponsored by Council Member Casar and co-sponsored by Mayor Pro Tem Tovo, Council Member Ann Kitchen, and Council Member Delia Garza, according to a new analysis from Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). Council members and local businesses should be reassured of the benefits of paid sick days for all workers in Austin.

The proposed paid sick leave ordinance for Austin workers could provide over $8 million in annual net savings to the community and businesses, which includes the following:

  • When weighing the benefits for employers against costs, Austin businesses are expected to save $4.5 million (net) annually.
  • Additionally, the community is expected to save about $3.8 million annually on health care expenses as a result of expanded access to paid sick days.

There are also a number of benefits to workers, businesses, and the community not captured by the cost-benefit calculation, including reduced workplace injuries, increased use of preventive care services, more timely treatment of illnesses, and improved employment and income stability.
Over 40 cities, counties, and states across the country have passed laws that protect their workers with paid sick days. In 2017, IWPR found that an estimated 37% of the Austin workforce lacks paid sick time. Over 211,000 private sector workers would be able to earn paid sick days if the ordinance proposed by Council Member Casar becomes law.
The data overwhelmingly support the need for this new policy. The real “cost” that we can see for the community would be the cost of doing nothing.
Austin City Council will take up the ordinance for a vote on Thursday, and Work Strong Austin along with community members will be there to have a rally and to testify. Find more info on that here.

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