Approximately 40 percent of workers in Texas lack paid sick time, and low-income and part-time workers are especially unlikely to be covered. Access to paid sick time promotes safe and healthy work environments by reducing the spread of illness (Kumar, et al. 2013; Drago and Miller, 2010) and workplace injuries (Asfaw, Pana-Cryan, and Rosa 2012), reduces health care costs (Miller, Williams, and Yi 2011), and helps working adults fulfill caregiving responsibilities by reducing work-family conflict (Allen, et al. 2014; DeRigne, Stoddard-Dare, and Quinn 2016). This briefing paper presents estimates of access to paid sick time in Texas by sex, race and ethnicity, sector of employment, occupation, part/fulltime employment status, and earnings levels through analyses of government data sources, including the 2013–2015 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the 2015 American Community Survey (ACS).

Access to Paid Sick Time by Sex and Racial/Ethnic Group

  • Among workers in Texas, 60 percent have access to paid sick time (Figure 1), and 40 percent, or about 4,319,000 workers, lack access.
  • Hispanic workers are less likely to have paid sick time than workers in any other racial/ethnic group (Figure 1): 50 percent of Hispanic workers lack access to paid sick time compared with 33 percent of White workers, 37 percent of Black workers, and 32 percent of Asian workers.
  • State and local government workers are much more likely than private sector workers to have paid sick time: 86 percent of state and local government workers have access to paid sick time in Texas compared with 57 percent of private sector workers.