Councilor Lewis Calls on Sponsors of Fair Workweek Act to Withdraw Bill
Councilor Lewis calls on sponsors of Fair Workweek Act to withdraw bill
Citing its “potentially disastrous consequences for Albuquerque businesses,” Albuquerque City Councilor Dan Lewis called on the sponsors of the proposed Albuquerque Fair Workweek Act to withdraw their bill.
“I know that the sponsors of this bill are sincere public servants who intended to introduce legislation that helps working people,” Councilor Lewis said. “I applaud them in this effort, and I recognize that they are willing to amend it or defer it while an economic impact study is conducted. But the best solution to the problems that have already been created by the introduction of his bill is to withdraw it as soon as possible and have the discussion without the bill on the table.”
Councilor Lewis believes that damage has already been done by the introduction of this bill alone, by creating second thoughts among businesses considering expansion into the Albuquerque market.
The Albuquerque Fair Workweek Act appears to provide employees with some predictability in their work schedules so they can deal with real-world issues like elder care and illnesses. Among other things, it would:
- Require employers to post employee schedules at least 21 days in advance and pay a penalty, called predictability pay, if that schedule changes;
- Require employers to allow a secret ballot amongst employees to decide on an “alternate schedule,” such as four 10-hour shifts or three 12-hour shifts;
- Require employers to allow employees to trade shifts regardless of skill level or experience
- Require employers to pay idle employees up to $150 every two weeks to keep them on the payroll when there’s no work
Unfortunately, the bill goes well beyond that, and places on local businesses a regulatory scheme so complex and so hopelessly unmanageable that its impact will seriously harm the very workers that it’s trying to protect.
Small businesses (those that have fewer than 100 employees) provide the largest employment segment in the local economy, and are already burdened with a host of federal and state laws and regulations that protect employees – federal labor laws, state labor laws, wage and hour laws, OSHA and more.
“There’s no need to add more duplicative and burdensome regulatory requirements,” Councilor Lewis said. “It’s not an exaggeration to say that this bill could cause many of our small, local businesses – businesses that have survived the great recession of the last six years and are just starting to recover – to go out of business. And when businesses close, workers lose their jobs.”
Councilor Lewis said, “I’m in favor of any legislation that helps people, but not at the expense of small business owners, and definitely not at the expense of the very people it’s designed to help. I call upon my colleagues to withdraw this bill and work with me in crafting legislation that will protect employees while encouraging job growth. Together, we can make Albuquerque a great place to work and do business.”