San Antonio’s legal profession has made progress toward gender equity, but it remains male dominated, a review of the largest locally based law firms shows.
While there are notable women in some of the highest ranks of local law firms, 18 of the largest locally based firms that the Business Journal evaluated are still predominantly run by men. Only 27% of local partners at local law firms are women. Of the 18 firms reviewed, three had no female partners, although eight have named partners who are women. The law firm with the highest percentage of female partners had 100%. The second highest had 67%.
Despite the gap that persists between men and women in leadership roles at law firms, some women in leadership roles believe things have come a long way.
Changes across the board are being proposed to revise the city’s paid sick leave policies for all businesses regardless of their size. Dozens showed up to the second and final public meeting to voice their opinions and learn more about the ordinance changes.
“Personally, I don’t think a size fits all approach will work just because businesses don’t make the same margins, don’t make the same revenue,” said Kelly Cubeta, a local business owner.
“I think it’s really important for the city to support working families through an ordinance like this,” said other attendee.
Among several revisions, the ‘one size fits all’ ordinance requires employers to provide 56 hours of leave to all employees. “56 hours per year is a little too much. I’d say something under 30 would be workable. It is going to increase labor costs. We may have to increase food prices also a little bit,” said Pat Peter, a fast-food restaurant owner. Terms like ‘small employer’ or ‘large employer’ would be removed. Employers would be required to provide sick leave to temporary employees hired through their business.
“If I have to go see the doctor, since I’m a temp employee I don’t receive PTO, that now I won’t be punished for being sick,” said Anthony Cruz, a temporary employee. Metro Health backing the change saying industries that don’t provide sick leave could contribute to creating public health issues.
“Lots of folks that currently don’t have paid sick leave work in restaurants or service industries so they’re interacting with the public, serving food everyday and if they’re sick, we want them to stay home,” said Jennifer Herriott, Interim Director, San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.
Bexar County’s 408th Judicial District Court has ordered the city of San Antonio’s appeal over a temporary injunction halting implementation of its paid sick leave ordinance abated until the Texas Supreme Court weighs in on the constitutionality of a similar ordinance in Austin.
“The latest ruling is not at all a surprise,” said Cubeta Law Group’s Kelli Cubeta, an Alamo City attorney who has closely followed the legal maneuvering regarding the San Antonio ordinance. “The decision prevents inefficient use of judicial and taxpayer resources since the Texas Supreme Court will hopefully be making a determination soon on the issue of mandatory paid sick leave.”