There are two urgent issues facing businesses in Albuquerque that we need you to be aware of– Sick Leave and a proposed plastics ban.
Trick Leave is Back!!!
When the proponents of a sick leave ordinance lost the vote in Albuquerque you might have thought that was the last we would see of that particular sick leave ordinance. But no, it’s back and it’s just as bad as before except this time it’s 12 pages of bad legislation rather than 7 pages. Adding more words does not make this a better bill.
Read more: Albuquerque Journal Article on Sick Leave Initiative
Yes the activists changed some of the language but the reasons it was voted down is in the current bill proposed by Councilor Pat Davis.
The arguments are the same for the opponents:
1. Family Member is defined as: any other individual or relative whose close association with the employee or employee’s spouse or domestic partner is the equivalent of a family member.
2. All employers no matter the size are required to pay the leave from day one.
3. 56 hours of accrued sick leave per year to be accrued and 56 hours carried over each year.
4. Ordinance does not mention separation of employment only if the employee is rehired by the same company.
5. If an employer chooses to require documentation from a doctor, the employer is responsible for reimbursing out-of-pocket medical expenses that the employee incurs in obtaining the documentation.
6. The ordinance allows for a private right of action (lawsuits) without going through the city department first.
7. Upon prevailing, the plaintiff shall recover all appropriate legal relief, liquidated damages calculated at 3 times the value of the earned sick time accrued, the costs and expenses of the suit, and attorney’s fees. If the plaintiff loses, or there are frivolous lawsuits as a result of this law, there is no such recourse for the business, and these kinds of suits can bankrupt a small business and have.
8. A business can keep their PTO policy as long as it’s stricter than this ordinance. Nor is there any wording that businesses are exempt from the compliance requirements or legal penalties.
We must understand that the political tides have changed in Albuquerque.
The ballot measure that was defeated by Albuquerque citizens included all of the same requirements on businesses. There are no added incentives to help alleviate the significant costs of compliance, or the threat of legal action. There is no analysis of how this will adversely affect job creation, or even our existing jobs since Albuquerque will be the only municipality in the state to enact this job-killing legislation. A previous Paid Sick Leave Council bill that recently died had at least requested a fiscal analysis but had none of the restrictive, expensive requirements of this new bill.
Call to Action:
Contact your city councilor today! Find your councilor and thier contact info HERE.
Plastic Ban in Albuquerque
Bill proposes: LIMITING THE USE OF PLASTIC SINGLE-USE CARRYOUT BAGS; LIMITING THE USE OF PLASTIC SINGLE-USE STRAWS; LIMITING THE USE OF POLYSTYRENE SINGLE-USE CONTAINERS; CREATING AN ‘ALBUQUERQUE CLEAN & GREEN BUSINESS’ PROGRAM; PROVIDING FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS.
City of Albuquerque Ordinance sponsored by: Isaac Benton, Patrick Davis, Diane Gibson and Cynthia Borrego.
Read more: Op-Ed on Plastics Ban
By January 2020 all restaurants would be prohibited from using single use plastic bags and polystyrene containers. Plastic straws would be prohibited (except by request to those with physical or medical needs).
Restaurants could charge a fee of up to 10-cents per bag or container issued to customers to offset the additional expense for the biodegradable container.
It would be a misdemeanor violation for every day the business is not in compliance with the ordinance. Any city employee authorized to enforce codes and ordinances will be able to enforce this ordinance.
Call to Action:
Contact your city councilor NOW! Find your councilor and thier contact info HERE.
Email Carol Wight if you are interested in opposing either of these ordinances. firstname.lastname@example.org