Businesses are already struggling to comply with many confusing and complex federal, state and local regulations; the city of Albuquerque should not consider adding additional burdens like the mandates in the “Fair” Workweek Act.
Every new mandate on business comes at a cost. If businesses are required to provide things like paid leave, retention pay and compensation for changed shifts, something else has to give – that will be cuts in jobs, cuts in wages, or increased menu prices. None of these choices are good for employees or employers.
The restaurant industry is the second larges private sector job creator in the country, and the vast majority of restaurants are small, locally owned businesses. The Albuquerque Workweek mandate will have an especially harsh impact on these small businesses because they do not have the resources to deal with the cost of complying.
The restaurant industry is highly labor intensive and a majority of restaurant employees are either part-time or seasonal. Many are students working a few shifts a week. Given our unique business model, it would be very difficult for employers to afford and administer a paid leave benefit to their part-time workers. And employees appreciate the flexibility this structure provides.
With food and labor costs soaring and profit margins getting tighter, restaurant owners have to make decisions to cut labor by embracing technology. More restaurants will see a cost reduction by placing a kiosk at the table thereby replacing the need for additional employees.
As Albuquerque struggles to attract businesses these onerous proposals make potential companies nervous about the city government’s power to create an unstable business environment. These companies make decisions to go elsewhere.
Businesses already comply with the Federal Department of Labor Laws and the New Mexico Department of Labor Laws. This over-reaching city law is piling on to an already burdensome process. The Albuquerque Workweek Act has over 17 new laws to add to the payroll process.
Further, this law would require the City of Albuquerque to create a city department of labor just to audit and enforce this oppressive law.
Wouldn’t our tax dollars be better spent on building business rather than over-regulating it?