ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The latest push to require paid leave for workers is still up in the air, despite one Albuquerque city councilor’s fight to get it passed. “I thought about keeping our businesses open. Had we had sick leave in place from the get-go, it would have mitigated the impacts of the virus,” said Lan Sena, Albuquerque city councilor.

Councilor Sena says families who do not receive paid leave are more likely to go to work sick because they can’t afford not to. During public comment, some local businesses said there is no worse time to add regulations on suffering small businesses.

On Monday, the council ended up voting to defer the topic until February, saying they want to wait and see if the state legislature takes up the issue in January. “If the state is really going to do this, I think we should get on the bandwagon with them and make sure that we are doing the same thing, as the largest city in the state, we should comply with what the state is doing,” said Trudy Jones, Albuquerque city councilor.

Under the bill, people employed in Albuquerque could earn one hour off for every 32 hours worked up to seven days total and would be applied in phases starting in January. Phase one would apply to businesses with more than 10 employees, and phase two would apply to businesses with three or more.

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