Commissioners Art De La Cruz, Maggie Hart Stebbins and Debbie O’Malley voted for the measure. Commissioners Wayne Johnson and Lonnie Talbert voted no.
Employees currently making $7.50 an hour – the state’s minimum wage – would see two, 50-cent hourly increases over the next year to reach a wage of $8.50 an hour by January 1, 2014.
“Bernalillo County families deserve a fair wage for a hard day’s work,” says Commissioner Art De La Cruz, who sponsored the measure. “I am committed to economic development and creating jobs, as well as livable wages for the workers that are the backbone of many successful companies and businesses here in Bernalillo County.
“I am also confident this increase in the minimum wage will boost our economy, and that families will use their increased purchasing power on groceries, fuel, housing and other basics that are vital to our economy.”
The new ordinance will apply to about 1,400 businesses in the unincorporated areas of Bernalillo County – outside the city limits.
“This ordinance also makes the wages consistent with what voters in the City of Albuquerque approved by an overwhelming margin last year,” Commissioner De La Cruz says.
Tipped employees are also covered by the new wage ordinance. If a tipped employee’s hourly rate plus tips does not meet the minimum hourly wage of $8.50 hour, the employer will make up the difference. Tipped employees will also be allowed to continue to pool tips under the new ordinance.
The county’s first 50-cent hourly wage increase will occur July 1, 2013. The second is scheduled for January 1, 2014.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, the commission shall increase the wage every year based on a cost of living formula.
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