The City Councillors in Albuquerque are trying again to pass a new version of the previously defeated paid time off mandates for businesses. And the vote could take place as soon as June 29th. Under the guise of responding to the current public health emergency, City Councillors are proposing a new city-wide bill that will mandate multiple new new mandates on businesses in Albuquerque. Additionally, because of the city’s pandemic response rules there is no opportunity for the public to attend these meetings and significantly reduced options to voice opinion on the issue. The three new mandates will attempt to revive the sick leave bill that was voted down by Albuquerque residents a little over 2 years ago. Here’s a short breakdown of what those changes could look like for businesses:
- Public emergency sick leave – 80 hours (available immediately) of sick paid time off for full time employees. For part-time workers, hours of paid sick leave equal to the number of hours that worker performs on a two week average.
- Public Health Emergency “Premium Pay” – for essential businesses with more than 50 employees, extra pay for all employees making $15/hr or less:
- $30 paid on top or regular wages for any employee working a shift less than 4 hours;
- $60 paid on top of regular wages for any employee working any shift from 4-8 hours (that’s $7.50 extra in addition to regular hourly wages);
- $75 paid on top of regular wages for any employee working any shift over 8 hours
- Regular earned paid sick leave – One hour of mandatory paid sick leave for each 30 hours worked up to 56 hours a year, and able to be carried over year after year. This mandate is a revival of the original sick leave bill that voters struck down.
In addition to these new regulations for businesses, the mandates include provisions stating any aggrieved employee may bring civil suit against an employer or business if they feel they are not receiving the full extent of these benefits. Whether the business is financially able to provide it or not. One provision included in the “premium pay” mandate states that any employee.
NMBC’s position is that blanket mandates like these proposals are unnecessary and a growing burden on small business owners who are trying to maintain or grow their operations. Wages and benefits should be negotiated between the employer and employee with respect to the unique situations and constraints for every business. Government attempts to micromanage this process lead to serious problems and reduce the opportunities for growth and employment for businesses and employees alike.
With the public barred from attending the meeting to voice their opinions and concerns, city business and residents are left out of the process almost entirely. These decisions could have detrimental effects for business already struggling to get by in the aftermath of the state shutdown. NMBC encourages you to use the contact form provided on this page and say NO to these proposals, and especially without in person public input.