Great White Shark MouthJust when you think it’s safe to go back in the water – safe to hire a few more people, expand your restaurant, do a few renovations… The unions have developed yet another political scheme to put a damper on the business climate in Albuquerque. This time it’s sick pay for everyone! Your input is needed in this survey!  CLICK HERE.

The proposed measure:

  1. Requires Albuquerque employers to provide earned sick leave to employees who work at least 56 hours in the City of Albuquerque at the rate of one hour of leave per 30 hours worked.
  2. Provides that employees may use sick leave for their own or a family member’s illness, injury, or medical care, or for absences related to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
  3. Provides that employees of businesses with 40 or more employees may use up to 56 hours of accrued sick leave each year, and employees of businesses with fewer than 40 employees may use up to 40 hours of accrued sick leave each year.
  4. Provides that employers must notify employees of their rights and maintain records.
  5. Provides for public enforcement, a private right of action, and liquidated damages and penalties for

This scheme comes in the form of a ballot initiative, requiring 14,000 signatures, to go on the November ballot. The unions have 60 days to get enough signatures. They then need to petition the city and county to put the measure on the ballot.

NMRA’s position is that labor laws should be made by the state legislature. Businesses are already subject to state and federal employment laws and audits. Ballot initiatives that stipulate employment law, in individual municipalities, leads to additional enforcement and auditing, subjecting businesses to additional burdens. These burdens are especially difficult for small businesses that do not have legal staff to interpret every nuance, of every new law, in every jurisdiction. These measures put undue burdens on employers. This also maintains a level playing field across political subdivisions and removes confusion for businesses operating in multiple locations around the state.

To begin planning our strategy we need your input. Please fill out this survey so we have data to make our points salient and data-based with the press and public.

We understand that every employer would love to have enough profit to provide sick leave for all employees. Unfortunately, many smaller restaurants don’t have the profit margins to make sick leave a reality for their staff. The average restaurant profit margin is 5% if you are doing everything right. Sick pay sounds good and worthy but the fact is employers are overly burdened with labor laws from all sides, you really have very little capacity, not to mention money, to handle one more mandate.