Sick Leave Bill Would Affect 6 Percent of City Employers
December 18, 2017
By Dennis Domrzalski, ABQ Reports
“You’ve got to hand it to city councilors Ken Sanchez and Don Harris; they’re either incredibly bold in their attempts to deceive the public, or stunningly uninformed. Maybe both.
These two geniuses plan to introduce a mandatory sick leave ordinance that would require all companies in the city with 50 or more employees to provide mandatory sick leave to their workers.
The announcement made for a good headline, but it failed to mention that this proposed law would affect a massive 6 percent of the city’s employers.
That’s right, 6 percent.
That’s because 94 percent of all employers in Bernalillo County have fewer than 50 workers.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2015 there were 15,746 private sector establishment in the county. Of those, 14,846 had fewer than 50 employees. A grand total of 900 had 50 or more workers.
When you figure that probably all of the 390 establishment with more than 100 workers offer their employees sick leave, you have, really, a minuscule about of employers that would be affected by their proposed law.
I’m not saying that mandating employers to provide sick leave to their workers is good, or that that’s government’s role, I’m saying that their proposed bill would affect almost no one and that they should be called out for this deception or ignorance.
So here’s a look at employers by size in Bernalillo County:
1 to 4 employees: 7,798
5 to 9 employees: 3,080
10 to 19 employees: 2,321
20 to 49 employees: 1,647
50 to 99 employees: 510
100 to 249 employees: 307
250 to 499 employees: 58
500 to 999 employees: 16
1,00 or more employees: 9
… [E]establishments with fewer than 50 workers wouldn’t be affected by the proposed ordinance.”
A coalition of 27 businesses and business organizations was formed last year to oppose the Healthy Workforce ordinance in court and included:
• Apartment Association of New Mexico
• Associated Builders and Contractors
• Associated General Contractors New Mexico
• Albuquerque Economic Forum
• Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce
• American Subcontractors Association of New Mexico
• Commercial Association of Realtors New Mexico
• Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors
• Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce
• Home Builders of Central New Mexico
• National Association of Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP)
• New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry
• New Mexico Restaurant Association
• New Mexico Utility Contractors Association.
A “measured finance” committee called “ALBUQUERQUE COALITION FOR A HEALTHY ECONOMY” was also formed to mount a campaign to fund and oppose the ordinance.
The business coalition no doubt has already done some sort of economic impact a mandatory sick leave ordinance will have on the city’s private industry.
Notwithstanding all the problems with the proposed ordinance, perhaps a mandatory sick leave ordinance can still emerge that all the city councilors can support and the Mayor can sign without putting it on the ballot this time.
A bigger obstacle is how the business community and the private sector will react to the ordinance and what extent the opposition will be to it.
It would make common sense for the Mayor or the City Council to contact the coalition of 27 businesses and business organizations that was formed last year to oppose the Healthy Workforce ordinance and get their input and recommendations on what they could support.
Then again, common sense is something Sanchez and Harris appear to be lacking seeing that their proposed ordinance was written in a vacuum without any input from the Mayor and it will only benefit 6% of employees.