New Mexico Leave Laws

May 1st 2024

Leave laws in New Mexico serve various purposes, from granting employees time off work to vote to allowing them to serve in the military without fear of losing employment. This article provides an overview of employers’ legal responsibilities surrounding leave in New Mexico, detailing the different categories of leave available to employees. There are two types of leave in New Mexico: mandatory and non-mandatory, each encompassing specific guidelines and requirements.

This Article Covers

New Mexico Required Leave
New Mexico Non-Required Leave

New Mexico Required Leave

New Mexico leave laws mandate that employers must offer certain types of leave, including:

1. Sick Leave

  • Eligibility: All employees in New Mexico, including full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary workers, are eligible for sick leave under the Healthy Workplaces Act.
  • Duration: Employees accrue one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, with the ability to use up to 64 hours of paid sick leave per year.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: Personal illness, medical appointments, care for a family member, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
  • Pay: Sick leave is paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay.

2. Family and Medical Leave

  • Eligibility: The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides employees with leave for specific family and medical reasons. An employee is eligible for this type of leave if they have worked for their employer for at least a year for a minimum of 1,250 work hours. However, this leave requirement is only applicable to employers with over 50 employees. 
  • Duration: 12 weeks or, if taking care of a member of the Armed Forces, 26 weeks.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: This leave can be used for various reasons, such as the birth and care of a newborn, to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition, or to take medical leave when unable to work due to a serious health condition. Employees are also entitled to leave when taking care of a family member in the Armed Forces who has a serious health condition or injury, or is undergoing medical treatment or therapy.
  • Pay: Employers in New Mexico are not required to pay workers on family and medical leave.

3. Jury Duty Leave

  • Eligibility: Employees who get called for jury duty are entitled to this type of leave. Employers cannot ask employees to use their sick or vacation leave for this reason. 
  • Duration: The scheduled and expected duration of the jury service.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: For jury duty. 
  • Pay: There is no legal requirement for employers to provide compensation for time spent on jury duty.

4. Voting Time Leave

  • Eligibility: If an employee’s shift begins within two hours of the polls opening or ends less than three hours before the polls close, their employer must grant them time off to vote. 
  • Duration: 2 hours. 
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: When an employee needs time to vote in an election. 
  • Pay: Employers are legally required to pay workers on voting time leave.

5. Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault Leave

  • Eligibility: Employees who have experienced domestic or sexual violence have the right to take this type of leave.
  • Duration: 14 days of intermittent leave within a year, with a limit of 8 hours per day.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To obtain an order of protection, meet with law enforcement officials or advocates, or attend court proceedings related to the abuse. 
  • Pay: Domestic violence or sexual assault leave is unpaid in New Mexico.

6. Volunteer Emergency Responder Leave

  • Eligibility: Employee volunteer emergency responders may take time off in the case of an emergency. Some examples of volunteer positions that would qualify for this type of leave include firefighters, ambulance drivers, and medical technicians.
  • Duration: 10 days
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To respond to emergencies. 
  • Pay: Employers are not expected to provide paid volunteer emergency responder leave.

7. Civil Air Patrol Leave

  • Eligibility: Employees who are part of the Civil Air Patrol are entitled to this type of leave. 
  • Duration: 15 days per year. 
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To participate in search and rescue operations.

8. Military Leave

  • Eligibility: Employees who serve in the US Armed Forces, National Guard or state militia are eligible for military leave, as per the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA).
  • Duration: The time it takes to fulfill military duties. 
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To serve in the US Armed Forces, National Guard or state militia.
  • Pay: Employees are entitled to unpaid leave for military service, and their job positions are protected during this time. Post-service, employees on military leave must be given the same pay and benefits as before.

New Mexico Non-Required Leave

Not all types of leave in New Mexico are mandatory. The following types of leave may or may not be granted by New Mexico employers. Employers should refer to their company policy or employment contract to verify whether they should provide these types of leave:

1. Vacation Leave

Vacation leave is not mandatory in New Mexico. If an employer chooses to offer vacation leave, the terms of their established policy must be clearly outlined in the employment contract. This includes conditions for accruing, using, and being paid for vacation time, as well as any provisions for carrying over vacation time from one year to the next or paying out unused vacation upon termination.

2. Bereavement Leave

Bereavement leave is also a non-required type of leave in New Mexico. Employers may choose to offer bereavement leave as part of their benefits package, and decide the details and conditions of the leave, such as duration and whether it is paid or unpaid.

3. Holiday Leave

Employers in New Mexico are not required by law to grant their employees paid or unpaid holiday leave. If they choose to offer holiday leave as part of their employment package, any such provisions would typically be outlined in an employment contract or employee handbook. 

Official state holidays observed in New Mexico include:

State Official Holidays Date
New Year’s Day 1 January
Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Day Third Monday in January
Washington’s Birthday Third Monday in February
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence Day 4 July
Labor Day First Monday in September
Columbus Day Second Monday in October
Election Day Every other year
Veterans Day 11 November
Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day 25 December

If you want to know more about the rights of employees in New Mexico, you can read our guides on Your rights as a salaried employee in New Mexico, and Your rights as an hourly employee in New Mexico. You can also learn more about New Mexico Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

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