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Advocates Say Paid Sick Leave Is Key For Domestic Violence Survivors

Marisa Demarco / KUNM
Ana Lopez-Salazar of Enlace Comunitario

The question before Albuquerque voters on the ballot tomorrow: Should all employees be able to earn an hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work? Advocates who help people experiencing violence at home say it’s crucial.

Ana Lopez-Salazar works at Enlace Comunitario where she trains survivors to become promotoras, who educate people about the effects of domestic violence. "If we don’t have that right, it is another barrier for the victims," she said. "It is so hard for them to keep their jobs when they are in that situation."

After domestic violence or assault, it takes time to find safety, get health care, comfort loved ones and go to court. That’s one reason advocates say all workers deserve paid sick leave. "They have so many issues going on. So it is like a roller coaster," Lopez-Salazar said. "It’s very difficult to escape a relationship because they need to find a good job. So that is a hard time for our victims."

She said this is a basic right that should be afforded to all workers, regardless of what kind of job they have or their individual circumstances.

Industry associations argue that forcing employers to cover sick leave will hurt small businesses—especially when piled on top of other problems, like the ART construction and a slow citywide economy.

The polls will be open on Tuesday, Oct. 3, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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