The New Mexico Healthy Workplaces Act (“NMHWA”) requires all private employers in New Mexico to provide all employees one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employees may use up to 64 hours of earned sick leave per the employer’s defined 12-month period. Employees will be able to use earned sick leave for absences due to various reasons delineated in the Act, some of which include family members’ illness or injury and reasons relating to domestic abuse and sexual assault. Employees are allowed to carry over any accrued, unused earned sick leave but employers are not required to allow the use of more than 64 hours per 12-month period.
As an alternative to the accrual method, the NMHWA permits employers to frontload the full 64 hours of earned sick leave every year. There is no waiting period for accrual, and use of earned sick leave as accrued begins on July 1, 2022, or the first day of employment, whichever is later. To use earned sick leave, employees need only make a “reasonable effort to provide oral or written notice of the need for such sick leave” and “to schedule the use of earned sick leave in a manner that does not unduly disrupt the operations of the employer.” When the need to use earned sick leave is unforeseeable, employees must “notify the employer orally or in writing as soon as practicable.” Employers are strongly advised to review their existing paid time off policies to ensure compliance with the Act beginning July 1.