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Las Cruces City Council to discuss minimum wage exemptions

Las Cruces City Councilors will talk Monday about possible exemptions to a minimum wage ordinance that is set to take effect Jan. 1.

Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima has proposed a list of 15 types of employees or businesses that would be excluded from being required to pay the city's new minimum wage rate.

Miyagishima has said he based that idea off the federal government's exemptions to its minimum wage ordinance and found a list of the exclusions on the Internet. He said he learned recently, however, that full federal list comprises about 100 exemptions, something he doesn't support.

City Councilor Olga Pedroza said last week she would invite legal experts to the council's Monday meeting who are knowledgeable about the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which governs the exemptions.

The FLSA exemptions are a discussion item for Monday's city council work session, which starts at 1 p.m. at city hall, 700 N. Main St.

A vote on possible amendments to the minimum wage ordinance, which would take the hourly wage level in the city to $10.10 in 2017, is set for Dec. 1.

Miyagishima also has proposed requiring a review of three-phased $10.10 ordinance after its first six months for councilors to determine whether to allow the second phase to take effect. The first phase will raise the wage rate from $7.50 per hour now to $8.40 starting Jan. 1.

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