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County Commission Approves Paid Time Off Ordinance


Read the ordinance here.

The Bernalillo County Commission approved a paid time off ordinance that will mandate business owners in the unincorporated areas of the county, with two or more employees, to provide paid leave.

The ordinance will take effect on July 1, 2020 in the unincorporated areas of the county. This is the area outside the city limits of Albuquerque.

“The commission worked hard to balance the concerns of employers while recognizing that workers sometimes need to take time from work to care for themselves, a child, or a loved one,” says County Commission Chair Maggie Hart Stebbins. “This is also a public health issue because employees in low-wage healthcare and food service jobs are often the ones who can least afford to lose a day's wages – so this ordinance provides protection for patients and customers as well.”

Highlights of the new ordinance include:

  • The paid time off shall be implemented over three years with no more than 24 hours of leave in the first year, 40 hours in the second and 56 hours in the third year.
  • Paid time off will be capped at 56 hours.
  • Unused hours carry over to the following year, but cannot exceed the 56-hour cap.
  • Employers with probationary employment periods may allow for a delay in paid time off up to 90 days.
  • The Board of County Commissioners will review a report of paid time off, yearly to assess the adequacy of the ordinance.
  • The ordinance provides for investigation and enforcement by the county of any, and all, complaints.

“Our task moving forward is to create an effective program to educate and assist businesses in complying with this new requirement,” says Commissioner Debbie O’Malley.

The full ordinance will be posted on the Bernalillo County website at www.bernco.gov.

The ordinance passed on a 3 to 2 vote with commissioners Lonnie Talbert and Charlene Pyskoty as the dissenting votes.

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