Fast Facts about Albuquerque Healthy Workforce Ordinance
What is the ordinance?
- Albuquerque (only) employers must allow employees to accrue paid sick leave at the rate of one hour of leave per 30 hours worked.
- 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.
- Employers with 40 or more employees must allow each employee to use up to 56 hours of accrued sick leave each year, and employers with fewer than 40 employees must allow each employee to use up to 40 hours of accrued sick leave each year.
- Employers must notify employees of their rights and maintain records.
- Provides for public enforcement, a private right of action, and liquidated damages and penalties for noncompliance or retaliation.
- An employer may require reasonable documentation that paid sick time has been used for a covered purpose only if the employee uses 3 or more consecutive paid sick days.
What is the reason for the ordinance?
According to New Mexico Voices for Children, approximately 49% of private sector workers and 77% of part-time workers in Albuquerque lack paid sick time, which compels them to work when they should be recuperating from illness or injury, and increases the risk of passing illnesses to others.
What are the Pros of the ordinance?
- Workers earn paid sick days to care for themselves or a family member
- The spread of illness from sick employees to healthy employees and patrons is prevented.
- Survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault can use the leave to seek medical attention, secure safe housing, and/or report the abuse.
- All employees, i.e., full-time, part-time, and temporary, who work a minimum of 56 hours in a year are eligible for paid sick leave.
What are the Cons of the Ordinance?
- All businesses in the Albuquerque city limits, i.e., large, small, for-profit, not-for-profit, will be required to pay for sick leave.
- Businesses may need to change their paid-time-off policies.
- The amount of paperwork required to track will
- An employer is not allowed to retaliate (i.e., “intimidate, retaliate, discipline, discharge, suspend, assign to less favorable duties, refuse to hire, reduce pay or hours, refuse to assign additional hours, report an employee or an employee’s family member to any law enforcement agency, or take or threaten any adverse action whatsoever”) against an employee within 90 days of using the leave.
- If a case is made against the employer for retaliation, the employer is responsible for attorney and court fees, as well as penalties as deemed fit by the city attorney general.