This post will guide you through employee leave laws for businesses and workers located in the state of New Mexico.
Follow this guide to understand employers’ obligations for vacation time, paid time off (PTO), sick leave, parental leave, bereavement and more, along with state holidays observed in New Mexico.
This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.
No federal or state laws require New Mexico employers to provide paid or unpaid vacation time.
PTO is mandated in Bernadillo County, however, with employees earning one hour of PTO for every 32 hours worked.
Use It or Lose It is not mentioned by New Mexico leave laws in relation to vacation time, so we can take this to mean Use It or Lose It vacation policies are legal to apply in the state.
New Mexico considers accrued vacation time a form of wages, and therefore an unused accrued PTO must be paid out upon separation of employment (such as when an employee resigns, retires or is terminated).
New Mexico’s Healthy Workplaces Act mandates that employees receive one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, with companies having the option to limit accrued sick time to a maximum of 64 hours.
Employees will start accruing sick leave, and can begin to use their accrued sick leave, immediately once they start working for a company.
Employees can carry over any unused sick leave from one year to the next.
Besides any state laws or provisions written into employment contracts, employers in New Mexico must comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which entitles eligible employees the right to take 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for serious health conditions, or to care for spouses, children or parents with a serious health condition.
The following official state holidays are observed in New Mexico:
|January 1||New Year’s Day|
|3rd Monday in January||Martin Luther King, Jr. Day|
|Last Monday in May||Memorial Day|
|July 4||Independence Day|
|1st Monday in September||Labour Day|
|2nd Monday in October||Columbus Day|
|November 11||Veterans Day|
|4th Thursday in November||Thanksgiving Day|
|Day after Thanksgiving||The Friday after Thanksgiving Day|
|December 25||Christmas Day|
There is no requirement to allow employees a paid or unpaid day off for state holidays, and employees required to work on state holidays are not legally entitled to extra compensation (such as higher pay or a compensatory day off), unless promised in their employment contract.
Maternity leave is not required by law in New Mexico, however the FMLA entitles new mothers to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for the birth of a new child, as well as the placement of a new adoption or foster.
Paternity leave is not covered by law either, but fathers have the same right to unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 12 weeks for the birth of their child, or a new adoption or fostered child.
Bereavement leave is not required by law in New Mexico (paid or unpaid).
Paid jury duty leave is not required, however companies must allow employees to serve jury duty without being discharged, disciplined or threatened.
Employees are entitled to up to two hours of paid leave, if their shift begins within two hours of polls opening and less than three hours before polls close.
Federal Law (the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)) applies in New Mexico, which states that military service members receive up to five years of unpaid leave for military service, and upon returning, must be reinstated to the same position (or an equivalent position) as they had before their leave.
Anything not covered in New Mexico state leave laws is up to the discretion of the employer, such as whether or not to provide paid sick leave or PTO, or whether PTO rolls over from year to year.
However, if any benefits are laid out in an employee’s contract or company policy, employers must comply with what has been agreed in that document.
For example, if an employee’s contract states that they are to receive 12 days of PTO each year, the employer is legally required to provide this, even though paid time off is not required by state law.