EMPLOYMENT LAW NEWS

New Mexico Paid Sick Leave

By Kris Janisch
Published April 12, 2021

New Mexico Paid Sick Leave

The governor of New Mexico recently signed the paid sick leave law, which goes into effect July 1, 2022.

Paid sick leave is coming to New Mexico.

New Mexico’s governor signed the Healthy Workplaces Act last week. It will eventually give all employees in the state paid sick leave. The law takes effect July 1, 2022.

“No one should ever have to choose between their health and their livelihood,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a tweet on April 9. “It’s clear that access to paid sick leave protects workplaces, families, and communities statewide, and it will benefit New Mexicans across the state.”

The law includes a posting requirement, which must be displayed in Spanish if it is spoken by at least 10 percent of an employer’s workforce.

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Paid Sick Leave in New Mexico

Like most paid sick leave laws, employees accrue leave as they go — one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked, capped at 64 hours a year. Employers can elect to implement a higher accrual rate.

It applies to employers with one or more worker. Below are other specifics of earned sick leave in New Mexico.

Covered Reasons for Use

Covered reasons for use include:

  • To care for an employee’s own illness, injury or mental health condition
  • Preventative medical care
  • Care for family members
  • Issues related to domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking of an employee or family member

Covered Relations

Covered relations include:

  • Employee’s spouse or domestic partner
  • Child, including adopted, foster, stepchild, legal ward, or if the employee acts in place of a parent
  • Parent, including the equivalent of the relationships under “child”
  • Grandparents
  • Person with an association that is the equivalent of a family member

Carryover

Under carryover, employees can roll over all unused sick time, but they can only use a maximum of 64 hours in a 12-month period.

Other Considerations

In addition to the items listed above, other provisions of paid sick leave in New Mexico include:

  • Employees should provide advance notice of leave if possible
  • Retaliation against employees who use paid sick leave is prohibited
  • Fines and penalties can be levied against employers for noncompliance
  • Employers must provide information about paid leave to new hires
  • Employers must keep records documenting hours worked and leave taken
  • There is no waiting period before use

Paid Leave Laws Across the U.S.

Paid leave laws continue to be introduced and enacted across the U.S.

The influence of the COVID-19 pandemic has put a new spotlight on the need for paid leave. And lawmakers are responding. Indeed, an earlier version of the new paid sick leave law in New Mexico included a provision for public health emergencies.

An increase in paid leave laws was happening before the pandemic struck. Employers will likely have to continue to monitor legislation at the state, county and city level moving forward.

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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