Beginning July 1, 2022, New Mexico will require private employers to provide up to 64 paid sick leave hours to their employees each year. The Healthy Workplaces Act (“HWA”) was signed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on April 8, 2021 and brings New Mexico alongside 15 other states with paid sick time laws. Notably, the state-wide law follows Bernalillo County Ordinance 2019-17, which mandates employers within the county provide paid time off. That ordinance took effect July 1, 2020.
Some of the high-level points to note from the HWA include the following:
Retaliation. Employers cannot take or threaten any adverse action against an employee that is reasonably likely to deter the employee from attempting to exercise a right granted by the Act or because the employee has (1) exercised or attempted to exercise rights under the Act or (2) reasonably alleged or raised concerns about violations of the Act to the employer, the employer’s agent, other employees, a government agency, or the public through print, online, social or other media.
There are many other notable requirements under the HWA. For example, employers with a unionized workforce subject to a Collective Bargaining Agreement are not afforded an exception to the HWA’s requirements. Indeed, the HWA states that those employers must provide additional leave unless the employees are provided paid time off that may be used under the same terms of conditions as PSL provided pursuant to the HWA.
Going forward, New Mexico employers may want to consider undertaking the following: