New Mexico Paid Sick Leave Now in Effect

By Kris Janisch
Published July 11, 2022

With its July 1, 2022, effective date, New Mexico paid sick leave joins more than a dozen states and over 20 counties and cities.

Benefits for New Mexico paid sick leave went into effect July 1, 2022.

Applying to nearly every employer in New Mexico, the law allows workers to take up to 64 hours of paid sick leave in a 12-month period.

Employers with an earned sick leave policy — separate from other forms of paid time off that meet the accrual requirements and may be used for the same purposes — are not required to provide additional leave.

With its July 1, 2022, effective date, New Mexico joins more than a dozen states and over 20 counties and cities with a paid sick leave law.

New Mexico’s paid sick leave law also includes a labor law posting requirement.

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New Mexico Paid Sick Leave

Under the New Mexico Healthy Workplaces Act, employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

Paid sick leave in New Mexico covers nearly all employees, including part-time, seasonal and temporary workers.

Covered Reasons for Use

Eligible reasons for use under New Mexico’s paid sick leave law include:

  • Mental or physical illness, injury or health condition
  • Medical diagnosis, care or treatment
  • Preventative medical care
  • Safe time
  • Meetings at child’s school or place of care for health or disability related issues

Those same reasons for use also extend to family members of employees.

Covered Family Members

Meanwhile, covered family members for New Mexico paid sick leave are defined as:

  • Spouse or domestic partner
  • Child – biological, adopted, foster, step, legal ward or child employee stands in loco parentis
  • Parent – biological, adoptive, foster, step, legal ward or person who stood in loco parentis when employee was a minor child
  • Grandparent
  • Grandchild
  • Sibling – biological, foster, step or adopted
  • Person with an association equivalent to a family relationship

A few other items to note about New Mexico paid sick leave:

  • Frontloading of paid sick leave is allowed
  • Employees receive the same pay as they would if they were working
  • Employees should give a good-faith effort to provide advance notice or as soon as is practicable
  • When a worker takes two or more consecutive days off, an employer may require documentation from a health care provider, though it does not apply to safe time (domestic abuse or sexual assault)
  • Employers must keep records of used paid sick leave for 48 months

Lastly, if an If employee is rehired within 12 months of separation by the same employer, previously accrued, unused earned sick leave must be reinstated.

Whitepaper: What Employers Need to Know About Paid Leave Laws

Paid Leave Laws

With little activity at the federal level, paid leave laws across the U.S. continue to pop up.

New Mexico is just the latest state to enact a paid leave law. Recent new laws over the past few months include:

The variations in paid leave laws, along with the sheer number, has created a major challenge for large employers over the past few years. Lawmakers continue to introduce new legislation, and the COVID-19 pandemic also placed added attention paid leave.

Paid Leave Glossary


Employers that operate in New Mexico should double check their policies to ensure compliance with the paid sick leave law.

Even those that have an earned sick leave policy should review it to ensure it meets the standards of New Mexico paid sick leave.

This Employment Law News blog is intended for market awareness only, it is not to be used for legal advice or counsel.

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