New Mexico Paid Sick Leave Requirement

New Mexico’s Healthy Workplaces Act (HB 20) passed both the Senate and House recently and is expected to be signed by the Governor. Private employers of all sizes will be required to provide paid sick leave to their employees starting July 1, 2022. This should give employers plenty of time to prepare for the new requirement.

Under the Act, all employees working in New Mexico, including part-time, temporary, and seasonal employees, will be eligible for paid sick time. Employees will earn 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 64 hours per year. Employers may provide more generous paid sick leave benefits and paid time off programs to meet the Act’s requirements. Employees may carry over 64 hours into the following year, but employers are not required to permit the use of more than 64 hours of paid sick leave in a year. Employees must be able to use paid sick leave in minimum increments no larger than one hour.

Paid sick leave can be used for:

  • An employee’s
    • mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition;
    • medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition; or
    • preventive medical care.
  • For care of family members of the employee for:
    • mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition;
    • medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition; or
    • preventive medical care.
  • For meetings at the employee’s child’s school or place of care related to the child’s health or disability
  • For absence necessary due to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking suffered by the employee or a family member of the employee, provided that the leave is for the employee to:
    • obtain medical or psychological treatment or other counseling;
    • relocate;
    • prepare for or participate in legal proceedings; or
    • obtain services or assist a family member of the employee with any of the above activities.

Employers will be able to ask for documentation of the need to take leave after two consecutive workdays of absence. Sick leave does not have to be paid out at the time of termination but must be reinstated if the employee is re-hired within 12 months. There are recordkeeping, notice, and posting requirements that are also included in the Act.

For multi-state employers familiar with paid sick leave requirements in our member region, a few things to note were not included in the New Mexico Healthy Workplaces Act. Public employers are not included in the bill’s final version, and there is no provision for additional Public Health Emergency time.

Prior to July 2022, employers in New Mexico should review their paid sick time, absence notification, documentation and attendance policies, and employee handbook to ensure they are in line with the new Act. For questions on New Mexico’s Healthy Workplaces Act, contact Employers Council.