Santa Fe, NM Living Wage

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Santa Fe, NM, US

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Type: Ordinance

Status: Adopted on 12/14/05

News Update: Santa Fe's Living Wage ten years after implementation, report via the Washington Post

Initially passed: The Living Wage Ordinance of 2003 tied minimum wage rate changes to the consumer price index (CPI).

The new rate placed Santa Fe as the city with the third highest minimum wage in the nation after San Francisco, California and Seatac, Washington. The City’s minimum wage rate to the rest of Santa Fe County.

Ordinance updates: 2014 county Living Wage ordinance increase

Feb 2014 - Santa Fe raises its minimum wage to $10.66 effective March 1, 2014

2014 report of National Economic Summit, "Cities of Opportunity" task force, established to share 'best practices': Santa Fe as a Living Wage model

2005 Re: Santa Fe’s Living Wage Ordinance

"Albuquerque became the fourth city in America to institute a wage floor above the federal level. The first city to do so was neighboring Santa Fe, New Mexico which implemented an $8.50 minimum wage in June, 2004."

2011 - Santa Fe and San Francisco make history /

Background: The New Mexico Green Party was the first political group to propose and include a Living Wage position in its platform and begin the political organizing that led to the initial Living Wage ordinance. We (including your siterunner) believed NM successes, initially in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, could help provide models for other cities/communities across the country.

Living Wage Calculator for Santa Fe:

Ordinance Update

Text: (without amendment)




28-1.1 Short Title. This section may be cited as the “Living Wage Ordinance”.

28-1.2 Legislative Findings. The governing body of the city has determined that:

A. The public welfare, health, safety and prosperity of Santa Fe require wages and benefits sufficient to ensure a decent and healthy life for workers and their families;

B. Many Santa Fe workers earn wages insufficient to support themselves and their families;

C. Many Santa Fe workers cannot participate in civic life or pursue educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities because they must work such long hours to meet their households' most basic needs;

D. Minimum wage laws promote the general welfare, health, safety and prosperity of Santa Fe by ensuring that workers can better support and care for their families through their own efforts and without financial governmental assistance;

E. The average earnings per job in Santa Fe County is 23% below the national average and the cost of living is 18% higher than the national average;

F. Housing costs in Santa Fe are much higher than in most other parts of New Mexico, and low income workers must therefore spend a disproportionate percentage of their income sheltering themselves and their families;

G. Livable wages also benefit employers and the economy as a whole by improving employee performance, reducing employee turnover, lowering absenteeism, and thereby improving productivity and the quality of the services provided by employees;

H. When businesses do not pay a livable wage, the community bears the cost in the form of increased demand for taxpayer-funded social services including homeless shelters, soup kitchens and healthcare for the uninsured. Coupled with high real estate values, low wages reduce the ability of low- and moderate-income residents to access affordable housing. As a result, the city has had to invest significant tax dollars to support affordable housing including funding to non-profit organizations, purchasing land, building infrastructure and waiving fees. In addition, the city has allocated significant tax dollars to operate after school and summer recreation programs and to support non-profit organizations offering an array of human services and children and youth services, all of which are needed by very low-income residents and their families;

I. It is in the public interest to require employers benefiting from city actions and funding, and from the opportunity to do business in the city, to pay employees a minimum wage, a “living wage”, adequate to meet the basic needs of living in Santa Fe;

J. According to the 2000 Census, approximately 12.3% of the Santa Fe community lives below the poverty level; and

K. According to the New Mexico department of labor, 23.5% of Santa Feans who are employed in the non-governmental sector earn hourly wages of $10.50 per hour or less.

28-1.3 Authority of the City of Santa Fe.

This Living Wage Ordinance is adopted pursuant to the general welfare and police powers conferred upon the city of Santa Fe by §3-17-1 et seq. and §3-18-1 et seq. NMSA 1978, pursuant to the powers conferred upon the city of Santa Fe by New Mexico Constitution, Article X §§6(D) and 6(E) and the Municipal Charter Act, §3-15-1 et seq. NMSA 1978, which have been exercised by the city's adoption of its "Santa Fe Municipal Charter".

28-1.4 Purpose. The purposes of this ordinance are:

A. To have the city of Santa Fe set an example for the public and private sectors by paying its employees a minimum wage adequate to meet the basic needs of living in Santa Fe.

B. To raise the income of low-income employees of employers who contract with the city, receive grants, subsidies or other benefits from the city or benefit from the opportunity to do business in Santa Fe.

28-1.5 Minimum Wage Payment Requirements.

A. The following shall pay the minimum wage:

(1) The city of Santa Fe shall pay the minimum wage to all full-time permanent workers employed by the city. However, the provisions of this ordinance are expressly limited by and subject to future union negotiations in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and subsequent appropriations by the governing body in compliance with the Bateman Act;

(2) Contractors for the city, who employ more than twenty-five (25) workers that have a contract requiring the performance of a service including construction services but excluding purchases of goods, shall pay the minimum wage to their workers and subcontractors performing work under the contract if the total contract amount with the city is, or by way of amendment becomes, equal to or greater than $30,000. This provision shall not apply to leases of city real property or to contractors who are non-profit organizations;

(3) Businesses receiving assistance relating to economic development in the form of grants, subsidies, loan guarantees or industrial revenue bonds in excess of $25,000 shall pay the minimum wage to those employed by such entity for the duration of the city grant or subsidy; and

(4) Businesses required to have a business license or business registration from the city of Santa Fe who, during any given month, have twenty-five (25) or more workers, or in the case of not-for-profit organizations, who have twenty-five (25) or more workers, shall pay the minimum wage to their workers for all hours worked within the city of Santa Fe that month. For purposes of this paragraph, worker shall not include any person who is related by blood or by marriage to any person who may have or possess any ownership interest in the business that employs them. For purposes of calculating the number of workers under this ordinance and identifying persons entitled to be paid the minimum wage, all individuals employed by or providing work to the business for compensation, whether on a part-time, full-time or temporary basis, during a given month shall be counted as a worker. This definition shall include contingent or contracted workers, and persons made available to work through the services of a temporary services, staffing or employment agency or similar entity. However, interns working for a business for academic credit in connection with a course of study at an accredited school, college or university or persons working for an accredited school, college or university while also attending that school, college or university, or persons working for a business in connection with a court-ordered community service program such as teen court or workers who are in an apprenticeship program in a 501C(3) organization (such as the Santa Fe Opera) shall not be counted as a worker for such purposes.

B. Beginning January 1, 2004, the minimum wage shall be an hourly rate of $8.50. In computing the wage paid for purposes of determining compliance with the minimum wage, the value of health benefits and childcare shall be considered as an element of wages. On January 1, 2006, the minimum wage shall be increased to an hourly rate of $9.50. On January 1, 2008, the minimum wage shall be increased to an hourly rate of $10.50. Beginning January 1, 2009, and each year thereafter, the minimum wage shall be adjusted upward by an amount corresponding to the previous year’s increase, if any, in the consumer price index for the western region for urban wage earners and clerical workers. For workers who customarily receive more than $100 per month in tips or commissions, any tips or commissions received and retained by a worker shall be counted as wages and credited towards satisfaction of the minimum wage provided that, for tipped workers, all tips received by such workers are retained by the workers, except that the pooling of tips among workers shall be permitted.

C. Non-profit organizations whose primary source of funds is from Medicaid waivers are exempt.

28-1.6 Prohibitions Against Retaliation and Circumvention.

A. It shall be unlawful for any business, employer or employer’s agent or representative to take any action against an individual in retaliation for the exercise of or communication of information regarding rights under this ordinance. This section shall also apply to any individual that mistakenly, but in good faith, alleges noncompliance with this ordinance.

B. Taking adverse action against an individual within sixty days of the individual’s assertion of or communication of information regarding rights shall raise a rebuttable presumption of having done so in retaliation for the assertion of rights.

C. It shall be unlawful for any business or employer to intentionally circumvent the requirements of this ordinance by contracting portions of its operation or leasing portions of its property.

28-1.7 Compliance Through Collective Bargaining Process. Compliance with any or all of the provisions of this ordinance, or any part thereof, may be obtained by recognizing an exclusive representative for employees and executing a bona fide collective bargaining agreement by and between an employer and its employees. [This entire Section 28-1.7 was repealed by the Santa Fe City Council on September 8, 2004 by Ordinance 2004-38.]

28-1.8 Enforcement; Remedies.

A. Administrative Enforcement. The city manager, or his/her designee, is authorized, as appropriate and as resources permit, to enforce this ordinance. The city manager is authorized to investigate possible violations of this ordinance. Where the city manager, after a proceeding that affords a suspected violator due process, concludes that a violation has occurred, the city manager may issue orders to the employer appropriate to effectuate the complaining person’s rights, including but not limited to back pay and reinstatement. The city manager also has the power to order termination of any and all economic benefit derived by any offending party from the city and has the power to revoke the employer’s business license or registration.

B. Criminal Penalty. A person violating this ordinance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, for each offense may be subject to fines and imprisonment as set forth in Section 1-3 SFCC 1987. A person violating any of the requirements of this ordinance shall be guilty of a separate offense for each day or portion thereof and for each worker or person as to which any such violation occurred.

C. Other Remedies. The city, any individual aggrieved by a violation of this ordinance, or any entity the members of which have been aggrieved by a violation of this ordinance, may bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to restrain, correct, abate or remedy any violation of this ordinance and, upon prevailing, shall be entitled to such legal or equitable relief as may be appropriate to remedy the violation including, without limitation, reinstatement, the payment of any wages due and an additional amount as liquidated damages equal to twice the amount of any wages due, injunctive relief, and reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

D. Nonexclusive Remedies and Penalties. The remedies provided in this section are not exclusive, and nothing in this ordinance shall preclude any person from seeking any other remedies, penalties, or relief provided by law.

28-1.9 Effect. Nothing in this Living Wage Ordinance shall be deemed to nor shall be applied in such a manner so as to have a constitutionally prohibited effect as an expost facto law or impairment of an existing contract within the meaning of New Mexico Constitution, Article II, §19.

28-1.10 Severability.

The requirements and provisions of this ordinance and their parts, subparts and clauses are severable. In the event that any requirement, provision, part, subpart or clause of this ordinance, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unenforceable, it is the intent of the governing body that the remainder of the ordinance be enforced to the maximum extent possible consistent with the governing body’s purpose of ensuring a living wage for persons covered by the ordinance.

28-1.11 Notice; Posting; and Publication.

Any business subject to the provisions of this ordinance shall as a condition to obtaining and holding a city of Santa Fe business license or registration, post and display in a prominent location next to its business license or registration on the business premises a notice, in English and Spanish, that the business is in compliance with the provisions of this ordinance and in particular post the text of Sections 28-1.5, 28-1.6 and 28-1.8 SFCC 1987. Failure to comply with this section shall be construed a violation of this ordinance and, in addition, shall be considered grounds for suspension, revocation, or termination of the business license or registration.

28-1.12 Living Wage Review.

The city will conduct a review of this ordinance on or before July 1, 2005. In conducting said review the governing body may, at its discretion and pursuant to a duly-adopted resolution, appoint an ad hoc committee to advise and assist in making recommendations regarding this ordinance and to investigate the economic and social effects of this ordinance on Santa Fe. The city will contract with an independent third party to develop an evaluation that will generate objective measures on the effect of the Living Wage Ordinance on the health, security, and livelihood of Santa Feans by March 31, 2003. Data necessary for such an evaluation on Santa Fe city businesses will be compiled and presented to the governing body for their review on or before July 1, 2003. In compiling the data, consideration should be given to potential impacts on youth employment and possible recommendations that might prevent unforeseen consequences hurting children in the community.