Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of New Mexico.
On April 8, 2021, Governor Grisham signed the “Healthy Workplace Act” (HWA) into law, providing paid sick leave to employees of private employers and businesses.
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What are the details?
Effective July 1, 2022, employers will be required to allow employees to earn up to 64 hours of paid sick leave a year.
Unlike paid sick leave laws in some states, small employers are not exempt from the HWA. Private employers with at least one employee working in the state, including workers who are part-time, seasonal, and temporary must comply.
Employees earn one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employers may choose to provide a higher accrual rate. Alternatively, employers can “frontload” the time off by giving employees 64 hours of earned sick leave for the upcoming year on January 1 of each year. Employees whose employment begins after January 1 of a given year may be provided with a prorated portion of the 64 hours.
Employers can choose how to define the 12 months in which the leave can be taken, including using a calendar or fiscal year or a rolling 12-month period measured from when the employee first takes leave.
Rate of Pay
Pay is at the employee’s regular rate with the same benefits, including healthcare benefits.
Reason for Leave
An employee may use earned sick leave for the following reasons:
- Their own or a family member’s health needs, including preventive care or a physical or mental health illness, injury, or condition
- Meetings at the child’s school or with a childcare provider regarding the child’s health or disability
- Matters related to their own or a family member’s domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking
Definition of Family Members
Family members are broadly defined as:
- An employee’s spouse or domestic partner
- Children, whether related to the employee or the employee’s spouse or domestic partner, including a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild or legal ward, or a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis
- Parents, including biological, foster, step, or adoptive, or a legal guardian or a person who stood in loco parentis when the employee was a minor child
- Siblings, whether biological, foster, step, or adopted
- An individual whose close association with the employee or the employee’s spouse or domestic partner is the equivalent of a family relationship
Employers do not have to provide leave to independent contractors.
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For more information, please see the links below:
Office of the Governor Press Release
What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and implement a paid sick leave policy for their employees to be in compliance with the law.