Supreme Court Rejects Emergency Petition Regarding Albuquerque Sick Leave Ordinance

Albuquerque Sick Leave Question is Definitely Headed to the Polls

The Albuquerque Healthy Workforce Ordinance, also known as the Sick Leave Ordinance and its future has been decided by New Mexico’s supreme court. The ordinance was initially supported by thousands of votes, more than enough for the ordinance to make it onto the ballots. However, due to a myriad of reasons the initiative wasn’t on the 2016 ballot.

It was challenged in court by business groups seeking to stop that specific ordinance due to logrolling, a practice that is considered illegal in most states including New Mexico. At the same time, supporters of the sick leave ordinance filed a lawsuit seeking to keep the initiative from being printed in 7.5 point font. Then, last month a judge ruled that logrolling only applied state laws, not municipal ordinances. Additionally, the judge ruled that the city must provide samples of the ordinance in full text and in 12 point font for voters to read.

The Association of Commerce and Industry appealed the verdict that allowed logrolling and filed an emergency petition with the New Mexico Supreme Court. However, just last week, the petition was denied as justices rejected the emergency petition.

Sick Leave Ordinance on Oct 3 Ballot

The Healthy Workforce Ordinance is certain to appear on the October 3rd ballot. While many businesses don’t object to some kind of sick leave law, there are widespread concerns in the business community about this specific ordinance. First, the ordinance was written without any input from local businesses and was written largely by progressive groups and unions with policies that protect only union-employers.

Among other issues, the ordinance assumes employer guilt and requires no proof from employees that the law was violated. It casts the burden of proof on employers and employers who win a legal battle get nothing to help recover their costs. There is no risk for employees to cry foul as the business bears the financial burden of proof and the cost of damages if the employee wins.  

For now, the future of the sick leave ordinance will be determined by Albuquerque voters. If approved, the ordinance will become law and will take effect in January of 2018.  This will give businesses little time to prepare for the new set of rules or to adjust their annual budgets accordingly.

Let SwipeClock Help

One of the ways that businesses can best prepare for sick leave laws and ensure compliance is through SwipeClock’s software. Businesses who have employees in Albuquerque and a growing list of other cities may have to comply with multiple conflicting City ordinances defining Sick leave accrual and usage laws.

Additionally, these businesses have to also comply with Federal Overtime Laws, the Family Medical Leave Act and any other national or local laws that are enacted. SwipeClock provides a comprehensive array of workforce management and time tracking tools that can help businesses to more easily stay in compliance with local and national laws.

Records are effortlessly kept for years and accrual is automatically tracked and reported to employees according the state and city laws. Additionally, with geo-timekeeping clocks, businesses can effortlessly track time worked in specific cities to ensure compliance.

About SwipeClock

SwipeClock is a leading provider of cloud-based integrated workforce management solutions that include automated time and attendance, advanced scheduling, and leave management capabilities.

The company’s products, including TimeWorksPlus, TimeSimplicity and Workforce Management Clock enable employers to manage their most important and expensive asset-employees-by transforming labor from a cost of doing business to a competitive advantage.

SwipeClock’s workforce management solutions are sold through over 850 partners that empower more than 26,000 businesses to lower labor costs, comply with regulatory mandates, and maximize their profits. For more information, please visit

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