7 Reasons YOU should be VERY concerned about SICK LEAVE being considered by the Bernalillo County Commission
1. After previous sick leave ordinances have failed to pass through both the Albuquerque City Council and on the ballot by voters, the Bernalillo County Commission is getting ready to vote on yet another Sick Leave Ordinance.
2. This proposed MANDATE ON YOUR BUSINESS will force businesses to give 56 hours of sick leave per year to every employee including full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal employees. The 56 hours can also be carried over to the next year!
3. The employee may retain a lawyer and sue the company without seeking resolution, and your business will PAY THE BILL!
4. The employee may use sick leave for themselves or other family members and the definition in this proposal is extremely broad including “any other individual or relative whose close association with the employee or employee’s spouse or domestic partner is the equivalent of a family member.”
5. Please send an email to the commissioners and tell them to vote NO. Perhaps if these governmental bodies would seek input from the business community, we could find fair solutions for the employees and employers.
6. This ordinance will impact businesses large and small. If Albuquerque wants to grow like other cities in states around us, then we need to create a climate in which businesses and employers want to operate here. To do otherwise is irresponsible and will cause real harm to our city that is already struggling in so many ways.
7. This ordinance only pertains to the unincorporated areas of the county but if it passes the city council has an ordinance ready to go. Help us kill it here in the county.
Let’s work to solve our problems in Albuquerque, not make them worse by passing this ordinance.
More reasons to oppose this mandate...
The Power of the Small Business Vote
- Voters prefer candidates supported by small business by a margin of 3 to 1 over those supported by organized labor, according to the Winston Group
- Nearly nine in ten adults (89%) report a positive view of small business, according to Morning Consult. “These positive sentiments extend across party lines…Republicans (92% positive) and Democrats (90% positive) are united in their appreciation for small business”
- A study by the Pew Research Center on the negative and positive views people hold on various American institutions found small business ranked first—39 percentage points higher than labor unions, 46 points higher than large corporations, and 49 points higher than banks and financial institutions.
The Deck is Already Stacked Against Small Business
- Small businesses pay more per employee in regulatory compliance
- According to a study by economists Nicole V. Crain and W. Mark Crain commissioned by the National Association of Manufacturers, small businesses (50 employees or less) face an annual regulatory cost of $11,724 per employee, which is 30 percent higher than the regulatory cost facing large firms (defined as firms with 100 or more employees).
- Small businesses pay three times as much to comply with taxes
Small businesses pay three times as much to comply with taxes In a another study by the Crains, conducted for the U.S. Small Business Administration during the Obama Administration, it found “With respect to tax compliance, the cost per employee is three times higher in small firms than in large firms.”
- Small businesses health insurance is more expensive than big business
Small business health insurance must cover abundant state-benefit mandates and a federal list of mandated benefits known as the Essential Health Benefits package. Federal law, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), allows big business and big labor to ignore thousands of state-benefit mandates and the new federal requirements on health plans. Having federal rules that allow them to ignore state mandates lowers the cost of health insurance. The federal government has steadfastly refused to allow small businesses to band together across state lines in order to form large purchasing pools for health care. Big businesses benefit from economies of scale, being able to buy in bulk and spread risks over thousands of employees. Administrative costs are also higher for small businesses.
- Why are County Commissioners Maggie Hart Stebbins and Debbie O’Malley working against small businesses and small business owners?
- The ordinance effects every small business despite it being known that small businesses (50 employees or less) pay 30% more per employee in regulatory compliance than large corporations.
- Especially when the vast majority of employees (greater than 63%) work for large corporations, not small businesses
- This places the commissioners in the minority by not supporting small businesses, when nearly nine in ten adults (89%) report a positive view of small business and a Pew Research Center found that small businesses ranked first in favorability—39 percentage points higher than labor unions, 46 points higher than large corporations, and 49 points higher than banks and financial institutions.
- Seems like the sponsors of the ordinance are wildly out of touch with the general public. Especially since Albuquerque voters, which represent a majority of their constituents, voted down a similar sick leave ballot initiative mandate just two years ago.
- The Bill is almost a carbon copy developed by east coast lawyers, who are trying to dupe Bernalillo County residents
- The ordinance is almost an exact replica of legislation created and distributed by the Public Leadership Institute in Washington DC
- Gloria Totten is their founder, Totten previously worked at Progressive Majority from 2001-2015, served as political director of NARAL from 1996-2001, and was the Executive Director for Maryland's state chapter of NARAL from 1993-1996.
- She is an advisory committee member for the Drum Major Institute Scholars Program, Political Parity, ProgressNow, Wellstone Action, and the Women's Information Network.
- Bernie Horn, their communication’s director, recently wrote an article
- In it he states, “advocates should…construct a package of perhaps five to ten bills to introduce and promote in their 2018 sessions, with the idea of helping shape the debate through the general elections”
- Paid leave mandates were numbers one on the list.
- In his expose on how to move forward these extreme initiatives he states: “Politics is not a battle of information; it is a battle of ideas…Facts should be used more sparingly”
- The ordinance causes a conflict between federal labor law and the county definition of employee
- The proposed ordinance includes independent contractors within the definition of employee. The proposed amendment important to add in order to explicitly state that independent contractors do not qualify as employees.
- Language: “suffers or permits to perform work for monetary compensation”
- Across the nation, the ordinance is one of the most harmful to small business
- No Small Business Exemption
- Even the ordinance that was introduced in the City of Albuquerque had a small business exemption, while this harms even the smallest of businesses
- Other laws and ordinances that included small business exemptions are:
- Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Maryland
- Seattle, New York City, Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Pittsburgh, and Duluth
- Doesn’t track current employment practices
- The ordinance states that employees exempt from overtime requirements under federal and state law will be assumed to work no more than 40 hours in each work week for purposes of earned suck time accrual.
- However, the ordinance states that employees shall accrue based on a 30-hour work week.
- Again, large corporations may be able to handle this nonsensical approach, but it will certainly harm small business by adding to their already disproportionate regulatory costs.
- Outsized Benefit Hours (ordinance provides 56 hours of paid sick time)
- However, a majority of states and municipalities that have adopted earned sick time ordinances gave capped the accrual at 40 hours or less.
- In fact, California and Tacoma have capped accrual at 24 hours. States that have capped accrual at 40 hours or less are: Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Pittsburgh.
- Infringes on employee’s sole right to file a complaint
- Ordinance states: “Any person or organization may file an administrative complaint with the County charging that an employer has violated this Ordinance as to any employee or other person.”
- It is important to ensure that the individual who is been aggrieved has the sole right to file a complaint (not an anonymous organization)
- Gives County Power to out constituents in the unemployment line
- Sloppy drafting states that if, “Any business which fails to comply with a notice of inspection within 7-business days shall forfeit their County business registration”
- Due to various circumstances many small businesses may be unable to comply within a tight 7-day deadline. =
- The word “Shall” means there is no wiggle room, which means the county may without good reason force those employees out of a job.
- Allows Small Businesses to be Held Hostage to Lawsuits
- Ordinance states: may bring civil action in court of competent jurisdiction against an employer without having to exhaust administrative remedies
- In other states we have already seen a cottage industry of drive-by lawsuits, that hold small business owners hostage unless paying an enormous fee of $10,000 or more to avoid having to hire a lawyer for a baseless claim.