SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A handful of state lawmakers are looking to help small businesses that choose to give paid sick leave to their workers. The bill’s sponsors said they want to reward small businesses that implement so-called ‘family friendly’ workplace policies.
“This would be done through the Department of Workforce Solutions,” said Rep. Joshua Hernandez (R- Rio Rancho). “They would be required to fill out or submit their form that shows how much the program is actually costing them and then the Workforce Solutions Department would have to verify that everything is actually being done that is on this form and would be given up to 50% tax credit on the cost of those programs.”
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In House Bill 134, the sponsors said this would start out as a pilot program for the state. Some other family-friendly policies outlined include flexible schedules for employees to take their kids to the doctor, dentist, parent-teacher conferences or even offering on-site child care. The republican-backed bill is in response to the democratic proposal to make paid sick leave mandatory. The New Mexico Business Coalition supports this republican version.
“If we do something positive like this to encourage them to do that and incentivize that i think everybody wins,” said NM Business Coalition President, Carla Sonntag. “The employees, the employer, the state; it’s a win-win all the way around.”
The bill would also set aside about $3-million to help provide those incentives, but businesses would still have to pay about half the cost. It’s scheduled to be heard in a House committee. The incentives would only apply to businesses with 50 employees or less.