In February 2018, the City of Austin, Texas became the first major southern city in the United States to enact a private sector paid sick and safe leave ordinance. The ordinance, which takes effect on Oct. 1, 2018, for employers with five or more employees and Oct. 1, 2020, for smaller employers, provides that employees who work at least 80 hours in Austin in a calendar year will accrue paid leave at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked in the city, up to 64 hours annually (or up to 48 hours annually for businesses with 15 or fewer employees). For employees covered by collective bargaining agreements, the accrual cap may be modified — so long as the modification is expressly stated in the agreement. The ordinance is designed to set forth minimum requirements for leave accrual and use. Accordingly, it expressly permits employers to continue or adopt practices that provide the same or greater leave benefits to employees.