On Monday, June 10th the Bernalillo County Commission cancelled it's scheduled public meeting, citing a shortage of agenda items and the absence of County Manager Julie Morgas Baca. Local business leaders are thoroughly displeased by the cancellation however, as it may have been their final chance to provide input for the commission on the bill and how it will put undue strain on their businesses. Business owners will now be forced to speak their peace on June 25 in the brief window of public comments before the Commission makes it's final vote.
In mid-May, Commissioners Debbie O’Malley and Hart Stebbins introduced the proposed sick leave legislation that would require businesses in unincorporated parts of the county with two or more employees to provide workers one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 56 hours per year. Under the proposed rule, employees may use sick leave for their own health needs or those of a family member. Beyond that, the ordinance opens the door for frivolous lawsuits; and special interest groups will be allowed to sue employers on behalf of any employee.
But for employers, and small businesses in particular, this proposal could be disastrous. The low employee threshold that's cited in the ordinance, coupled with it's inflexibility for employers and potential for litigation could have business owners struggling to make ends meet or worse- just closing up shop.
This bill is similar to one that was voted down in Albuquerque in 2017, but the Commission is determined to push this through without much discussion with the local business community about their needs and concerns.
New Mexico Business Coalition stands firmly with our local business leaders in saying "NO" to inflexible county wide mandates that the public already decided against.
The County Commission is scheduled to vote on the sick leave ordinance on June 25th at 5:00 PM in the Vincent E. Griego Chambers. You can register to speak at the meeting HERE.