Bernalillo County sick leave law is an end-run around voters - Albuquerque Journal

Bernalillo County sick leave law is an end-run around voters

The Bernalillo County Commission undermines democracy when it ignores the will of the voters. In a representative democracy, our elected officials are supposed to represent us. However, when the voters speak directly through a ballot measure, they have taken democracy in their own hands. Now a few members of the county commission have decided to undermine the voters who recently voted down a job-killing sick leave ordinance and instead are trying to ram the measure through at the county level without even reaching out to impacted businesses or conducting a bona fide economic impact analysis.

While the proponents have made amendments from the original ballot measure, there are still very serious problems. The measure’s language is unclear but appears to cover all businesses in Bernalillo County that require a county permit to operate, and would mandate that the employer provide paid sick leave to all employees, even if that business only has two employees and the workers only work two to three hours per week. The proposal would add costs and expensive record keeping for small local businesses.

But the worst part is that the legislation creates an incentive to file frivolous claims and lawsuits to exploit and extort our most vulnerable small and minority-owned businesses without risk of repercussions. Lawyers, working with advocacy groups, could sue businesses in court for triple damages, court costs and attorneys’ fees, without the involvement, knowledge or permission of the employees of the business. If the small business can’t afford an attorney, it could be forced to settle or go out of business. And if a business doesn’t respond within a week of an inspection demand, the county will cancel the business’s registration, effectively closing the business without a right to appeal.

The proposal will add significant expenses, compliance costs and legal liability to our local businesses, making Bernalillo County uncompetitive with the surrounding counties.

Please contact your county commissioner and tell them to reconsider this proposed ordinance and ask them to listen to the small business community and consider how this proposal would affect their livelihood.

Home » Opinion » Guest Columns » Bernalillo County sick leave law is an end-run around voters


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

1
Balloons greet visitors from near and far on fiesta's ...
ABQnews Seeker
Clouds couldn't damper balloon launch, excitement ... Clouds couldn't damper balloon launch, excitement
2
Court upholds dismissal of criminal charges under ethics law
ABQnews Seeker
AG calls on lawmakers to tighten ... AG calls on lawmakers to tighten state's anti-corruption statute
3
NM startup on cusp of DNA sequencing breakthrough
ABQnews Seeker
Technology to rapidly read long strands ... Technology to rapidly read long strands of DNA with molecular-level precision
4
Cannon airman found dead in home
ABQnews Seeker
Details surrounding the death are under ... Details surrounding the death are under investigation
5
Dean Hansel Burley receives vote of no confidence
ABQnews Seeker
Provost will consider faculty's position Provost will consider faculty's position
6
Montgomery speed cam MIA; balloonists block neighborhood
ABQnews Seeker
City temporarily removed Montgomery camera after ... City temporarily removed Montgomery camera after vandalism
7
Favored Aggies suffer humbling loss to Florida International
College
(Las Cruces)  Fresh off its first ... (Las Cruces)  Fresh off its first win of the season, a 45-20 verdict a week ago over Hawaii, New Mexico State had to be ...
8
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
From the newspaper
Prostate cancer is the most common ... Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men after skin cancer, but it is very treatable and ...
9
That great - or bad - review may be ...
From the newspaper
Who doesn't look at reviews when ... Who doesn't look at reviews when ordering a product? They can help consumers learn more about ...