Paid Sick Leave: City Council Narrowly Rejects a Proposal to Form a Task Force to Craft a Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

At last night’s City Council meeting, the Council failed to pass – on a 4-5 vote – a resolution that would have formed a task force to develop a mandatory paid sick leave policy for the city of Albuquerque.

The resolution would have required a six-person task force, comprised of three people representing employee associations and three people representing business or trade associations, to convene to consider options for mandatory sick leave requirements and any exemptions to those requirements. The task force would then compile a list of their recommendations and bring them to the Council to inform legislation.

Councilors Brook Bassan, Cynthia Borrego, Don Harris, Trudy Jones, and Klarissa Peña voted against the measure, sparing local businesses from costly new regulations and requirements when they are already struggling to keep their doors open in the midst of the pandemic. The Chamber thanks these councilors for their support.

The Chamber had provided feedback on the resolution last month when it was last before the full Council with these comments:

“The Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce opposes the Resolution for the creation of a task force on paid sick leave. In the midst of an unprecedented pandemic where businesses have taken on significant costs to adapt to a public health crisis and are struggling to strike a balance between safety and viability, this Resolution shows a striking lack of awareness of the difficult decisions business owners are making right now.

More than anything, our business community needs local government leaders to explore new ways to support it, not onerous, new requirements that could tip the scale toward permanent closure for local businesses that have made it this far through a crisis that has shaken our community to its core. This ordinance does not serve our employers—and it cannot serve our workers either, if it leads to more closures and job loss.”

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