NEW MEXICO HEALTHY WORKPLACES ACT

The inevitability of the new Paid Sick Leave Mandate (Healthy Workplaces Act) that was passed during the pandemic is now rapidly approaching with the July 1, 2022 implementation date. We know the restaurant community has specific questions and concerns with the new policy and NMRA is working to connect our members with the answers they need. In case you are not familiar (or have been too busy running your business), here’s the brief description the state has provided:

The Healthy Workplaces Act of 2021 is a law requiring all private employers in New Mexico to allow employees to accrue and use a benefit called earned sick leave. The law takes effect on July 1, 2022. The Act lets employees earn and use paid sick leave. Employees may use this leave for various reasons listed in the Act, like the employee’s or their qualifying family member’s illness or injury, or to deal with certain legal and family issues. Employers who do not honor an employee’s rights to sick leave face potential civil liability. The Act authorizes the Labor Relations Division (LRD) of the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (DWS) to investigate violations and enforce the Healthy Workplaces Act.

Employers with paid-time-off policies that are more generous than the minimum accrual and usage limits specified in Act are compliant with the Act if employees may use the leave for the same purposes and under the same terms and conditions specified in the Act.

The earned sick leave required by the Act is in addition to any paid time off provided by an employer pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement unless employees may use the paid time off for the same purposes and under the same terms and conditions specified in the Act.

The final language of the full bill has not been released yet as the state still has one rule making session left to help flesh out the policy before it goes into action. Here is a link to the proposed rules: Healthy Workplaces Act Proposed Rules

NMRA is currently analyzing how the policy will work for restaurants and reviewing the resources provided by the state to make sure we are able to fill any information gaps that occur. In the meantime, the New Mexico Paid Sick Leave website has an in-depth FAQ that should cover most of the concerns out there.

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