What Is The Living Wage?
The term Living Wage refers to the minimum hourly wage necessary for a person to achieve a higher standard of living.
Santa Fe's Living Wage
Santa Fe County's Living Wage Ordinance was adopted to establish minimum hourly wages.
Effective March 1, 2022, all employers are required to pay employees an hourly wage of $12.95 per hour. This includes part-time and temporary employees.
Tips are counted as wages and credited towards satisfaction of the minimum wage. As long as a worker is receiving the hourly minimum wage, whether through tips, salary, or a combination of both, the employer is in compliance with the Living Wage Ordinance.
The March 1, 2022, Living Wage increase is in accordance with County Ordinance and corresponds to the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the Western Region or Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. All employers required to have a business license or registration from the County must pay at least the adjusted 2022 Living Wage to employees for all hours worked within the Santa Fe County limits.
Effective Date: Saturday, April 26, 2014
Affected Area: For businesses located throughout Santa Fe County, outside of the incorporated boundaries of the City of Santa Fe, City of Española and the Town of Edgewood.
Affected Businesses and Other Employers:
- Businesses required by Santa Fe County to have a business license.
- Santa Fe County government
- Contractors that enter into a contract after April 26, 2014, with Santa Fe County government for services, including construction services.
- Businesses who undertake an economic development project and execute a project participation agreement with Santa Fe County.
Applies to: All employees of these affected businesses whether employed on a full-time, part-time or temporary basis, including contingent or contracted workers and those working through a temporary service or an employment agency.
The County Living Wage will increase to $14.03 on March 1, 2023, based on last year’s increase of CPI for western region Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. – subject to a Consumer Price Index-based inflationary adjustment on March 1 of each year.
Base Wage for Tipped Employees: $4.21 per hour as of March 1, 2023.
Previous Years' Living Wage Amounts
Certain Employers and Types of Employees Are Exempt from the Living Wage. See list below.
Employers are required to post, in a prominent location next to its business license, a notice of compliance with Living Wage Ordinance in both English and Spanish.
File A Complaint
If you believe you are not being paid the minimum wage required by this Ordinance or that your employer is in violation of this Ordinance, please use one these three ways to file an official complaint:
Living Wage Ordinance Additional Information
Prohibits Retaliation Against an Employee
It shall be unlawful for any employer or employer’s agent or representative to discharge, demote, deny promotion to or in any way discriminate against an employee in the terms or conditions of employment in retaliation for the person asserting a claim or right pursuant to this Ordinance or assisting another person to do so.
Violations, Penalties and Enforcement
A person violating the Living Wage Ordinance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, may be punished in accordance with NMSA 1978, Section 4-37-3 (1975), as amended. This Ordinance may be enforced by a duly authorized code enforcement officer. Violations of this Ordinance shall be investigated and prosecuted consistent with the process established in the Sustainable Land Development Code. A complaint form for use in reporting violations of this Ordinance is available on the County’s webpage.
Employers and Types of Employees Exempt from the Living Wage
- Employees of the United States, State of New Mexico or any political subdivision of the state (e.g. local government) other than Santa Fe County.
- An individual engaged in the activities of an educational, charitable, religious or nonprofit organization, where the employer-employee relationship does not, in fact, exist, including where the services are rendered on a voluntary basis.
- Apprentices in a registered apprentice program recognized by the New Mexico Apprenticeship and Training Committee or the Federal Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, as well as any apprentice participating in an apprenticeship program providing significant instructional and practical experience and offered by a 501C (3) non-profit organization.
- G.I. bill trainees during training.
- Temporary employees of an educational, charitable or religious youth camp or retreat where room and board is provided to the employee or if a day camp, where board only is provided (requires a valid seasonal employee exemption certificate from the NM Dept. of Workforce Solutions.)
- Any employee that is the parent, spouse, child or other member of the employer’s immediate family.
- Interns working for a business for academic credit from an accredited educational institution.
- Persons working for a business in connection with a court-ordered community service program.
Note: With respect to the exemptions to the County’s Living Wage Ordinance listed above, the federal minimum wage requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act remain applicable.