Dispute Over Enforcing Albuquerque's Minimum Wage Law

Feb 20, 2013

Mayor Richard Berry says it isn't up to him to enforce the voter-approved ordinance increasing the minimum wage in Albuquerque.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Berry said in a written statement Tuesday that the law gave discretion to the city attorney, not the mayor, to enforce the ordinance.

Berry later told the Journal that the city attorney is concerned about stepping into employer-employee disputes that could involve tens of thousands of businesses.

The debate over carrying out the ordinance sharpened this week when the owner of the Route 66 Malt Shop announced that his employees had signed paperwork agreeing to work at the old, lesser wage. Eric Szeman says he would be forced to go out of business if he had to comply with the wage hike.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.