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Postponement of Implementation of Employee Wellness Act Benefits Employers and Workers

06/16/2020

The 90-day postponement of the Bernalillo County Employee Wellness Act, due to the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus (COVID 19), enacted by the county manager under an emergency powers declaration, will go before the Bernalillo County Commission on June 30 for public comment and a vote by commissioners on whether to support the manager’s decision to postpone implementation of the ordinance.

County Manager Julie Morgas Baca postponed enactment of the Employee Wellness Act, also known as the paid time off ordinance, until Oct. 1, 2020.

The ordinance, approved by the County Commission in 2019, was originally scheduled to take effect on July 1.

“The county leadership team, led by County Manager Julie Morgas Baca, has to balance competing desires and views every day,” says County Commission Chair Lonnie Talbert. “We want to ensure that everyone has a voice in government and understands the big picture with this issue and to do that, the commission will hear the issue on June 30.”

The Employee Wellness Act governs only businesses outside the city limits in the unincorporated areas of Bernalillo County with two or more employees. Under the ordinance, employees will accrue paid leave to be used for purposes such as sick time, family leave, or vacation. Employers will be required to track the paid time off for each employee.

“This is, in no way, meant to diminish employee contributions,” says County Manager Julie Morgas Baca. “As employers bring workers back to the job and adjust to the new normal, we want everyone to understand we’re working in the best interest of all.”

A copy of the ordinance, an Employee Wellness Act guidance page, and a calculation chart can be found at: https://www.bernco.gov/planning/employee-wellness-act.aspx.

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