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Total Articles: 7

New Mexico’s Fair Pay for Women Act Not Limited to Private Employers

By Shawn Oller and Chris Suffecool on January 3, 2019 The New Mexico Court of Appeals held in Wolinsky v. New Mexico Corrections Department1 that the state Fair Pay for Women Act’s definition of “employer” extends to the State of New Mexico and its agencies. In doing so, the Court of Appeals rejected defendant’s arguments that (1) the Legislature did not intend to subject the state to the statute’s requirements; and (2) that the “general grant of immunity” in the New Mexico Tort Claims Act applies, granting sovereign immunity to the state for any Fair Pay for Women Act (FPWA) claims. The New Mexico Supreme Court denied certiorari. This denial leaves the court of appeals decision as the controlling precedent unless the Supreme Court reconsiders the issue in a future case.

New Mexico Supreme Court Rejects a Heightened Evidentiary Burden on a Plaintiff in a Reverse Race Discrimination Case

In Garcia v. Hatch Valley Public Schools, the New Mexico Supreme Court recently examined whether a plaintiff has a relatively heightened evidentiary burden in proving a reverse discrimination claim brought under the New Mexico Human Rights Act. The court held that a plaintiff in a “so-called reverse discrimination case” has the same evidentiary burden as does a “minority” plaintiff asserting a claim of discrimination under the Act. The decision in Garcia impacts all companies with four or more employees in New Mexico.

New Mexico Enacts Data Breach Notification Act

On April 6, 2017, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez signed HB 15, making New Mexico the 48th state to enact a data breach notification law. The law has an effective date of June 16, 2017 and follows the same general structure of many of the breach notification laws in other states.

New Forms Offer Flexibility for Employees Seeking Maternity Leave in Mexico

Pursuant to the November 30, 2012, amendment to the Mexican Federal Labor Law (FLL) that took effect on December 1 of the same year (the “Reform”), the FLL incorporated, among other things, changes in the law focused on maternity disability periods.

New Mexico State Employers Cannot Avoid Private USERRA Claims

In Ramirez v. State of N.M. Children, Youth and Families Department, filed on April 14, 2016, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that a New Mexico National Guard member could assert a claim against the state as the employer under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). The ruling reversed the decision of the New Mexico Court of Appeals, which had held that state employers were immune to such suits, and reinstated the trial court’s judgment and award in favor of the employee. The decision in Ramirez impacts New Mexico State employers, which the New Mexico Supreme Court determined can be held liable under USERRA.

New Mexico Court Finds Employer Had No Obligation to Accommodate Medical Marijuana Use

Must a New Mexico employer allow an employee to use medical marijuana as a reasonable accommodation for the employee’s disability? “No,” according to a New Mexico federal district court. On January 7, 2016, the court held that New Mexico’s medical marijuana statute and the New Mexico Human Rights Act do not require employers to accommodate medical marijuana use.

New Mexico Court Holds Employers Need Not Accommodate Medical Marijuana Use

A federal court in New Mexico dismissed the lawsuit of an employee who was fired after testing positive for marijuana, even though he used medical marijuana in accordance with state law. Garcia v. Tractor Supply Company, No. 15-cv-00735 (D.N.M. Jan. 7, 2016). The Court held that the employer did not violate New Mexico law or public policy by terminating a new hire for failing a drug test due to the employee’s medical marijuana use. The Court’s decision followed the holdings of similar cases in California, Colorado, Michigan, Oregon and Washington. Like those cases, the Court held that employers in New Mexico are under no duty to accommodate the use of medical marijuana by employees.
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