Bernalillo County, NM Passes “Any Reason” Leave Law

Tasha PattersonLegislative Updates

Bernalillo County, NM Passes “Any Reason” Leave Law

By Michael J. Soltis, Esq.

Paid Sick Leave @Work

Bernalillo County Commissioners in New Mexico approved an “any reason” leave law by a narrow margin on Aug. 20, 2019. The initial proposal was a paid sick leave bill but in June, after Maine and Nevada passed “any reason” leave laws, the Commissioners decided to consider a broadened “any reason” proposal.

The Employee Wellness Act applies to employers in the unincorporated limits of the County, which excludes the City of Albuquerque. The ordinance stated that it is effective Jul. 1, 2020 though an ABQ Journal article. We will need to see the effective date in the final version of the amended ordinance when it becomes available.

The County ordinance has the typical PSL architecture less the list of approved uses. Employees accrue PSL at the rate of one hour for every 32 hours worked to a maximum of 56 hours annually. The Commissioners agreed to phase into that 56 hour cap, according to the ABQ Journal. The maximum accrual in the first year of implementation is 24 hours; 40 hours in the second year; and 56 hours in the third year.

With Maine, Nevada and now Bernalillo County having passed “any reason” leave laws, we may be seeing the end of PSL laws as we have known them and are evolving to what I will call PSL 2.0 laws, which are structurally similar to a PSL law less the limitations on the use of accrued time.

***This article originally appeared on the Paid Sick Leave @Work site and was reposted on the DMEC website with their permission.***