Without sick leave, public's health at risk - Albuquerque Journal

Without sick leave, public’s health at risk

No one should have to choose between their paycheck and taking time to recover from an illness or care for a sick child. But that is the reality for nearly half of New Mexico’s workforce. New Mexico has the highest rate of private-sector workers without earned sick leave in the U.S. – which, itself, is the only wealthy nation without policies to ensure that every worker can earn paid leave.

Several cities and a handful of states have enacted their own policies, and voters in Albuquerque have the option of enacting a similar policy when they cast their ballot in the current election.

The vast majority of the workers in New Mexico who cannot earn sick leave are already earning the lowest wages. Since they cannot afford to lose pay, they often have to go to work when they are sick and send their kids to school sick. This puts the public’s health at risk when the illness is easily communicable – particularly when those workers are handling food or working with customers in person. That drives up health care costs. That’s why when every worker can earn sick leave, the whole community benefits.

While providing workers with earned sick leave does come with a cost to the employer, the policy also saves money as it increases productivity and decreases turnover. The Healthy Workforce Ordinance that Albuquerque voters will soon decide will give our businesses an edge in attracting the best workers from cities and states that do not have similar provisions to help their workforce – and their communities – stay healthy.

Albuquerque voters should pass it.

Home » Opinion » Guest Columns » Without sick leave, public’s health at risk

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories




Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages

 

Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
1
Last year's No. 2 UNM cross country team receives ...
College
The 2022 national runner-up University of ... The 2022 national runner-up University of New Mexico women’s cross country team included seven runners, all of whom were named all-academic for the 2022 ...
2
No drama for birthday llama: ABQ llama celebrates 27th ...
ABQnews Seeker
'This llama is bringing everyone together,' ... 'This llama is bringing everyone together,' says family friend
3
Rebel Donut suffers 'extensive damage' from weekend fire
Business
... ...
4
UNM College of Nursing programs receive high ranking from ...
ABQnews Seeker
The University of New Mexico's College ... The University of New Mexico's College of Nursing online master of science in nursing programs ...
5
SB 9 will leave a legacy of conservation
From the newspaper
OPINION: Buy-in from diverse constituencies reflects ... OPINION: Buy-in from diverse constituencies reflects importance of what's at stake.
6
Bill would allow New Mexico cities, counties, tribes to ...
ABQnews Seeker
The proposed legislation would allow local ... The proposed legislation would allow local governments to take over electric generation from privately run utilities.
7
Students need financial literacy as a graduation requirement
From the newspaper
OPINION: Without basic personal finance education, ... OPINION: Without basic personal finance education, far too many employees turn to check-cashing outlets and get charged unnecessary fees, take out high-interest loans, or ...
8
NM needs to act quick to attract and keep ...
From the newspaper
OPINION: The average age of physicians ... OPINION: The average age of physicians in New Mexico is 53, so we can predict increasing shortages as retirements occur.
9
Editorial: NM lands need a state 'legacy fund,' true ...
Editorials
From the Editorial Board: A healthy ... From the Editorial Board: A healthy outdoors is a healthy part of New Mexico's fiscal landscape, so the chance to unlock federal matching funds ...