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Bernalillo County, New Mexico Amends Mandatory PTO Ordinance Before the Ink Dries

On October 15, 2019, the Bernalillo County, New Mexico Commissioners voted to amend their mandatory paid time off (PTO) ordinance, enacted only two months earlier. As we previously reported, the ordinance will require certain employers with a physical premise in the county’s unincorporated limits to provide PTO that employees can use for any reason beginning July 1, 2020.

Mandatory PTO Trend Continues with Bernalillo County, New Mexico Ordinance

On August 20, 2019, the Bernalillo County, New Mexico Commissioners enacted the "Employee Wellness Act," which, though originally styled as a paid sick leave law, as amended requires covered employers to provide paid time off (PTO) that employees can use for any reason. The ordinance, effective July 1, 2020, becomes the first generally applicable local mandatory PTO law, continuing a trend recently created at the state level in Maine and Nevada.

Bernalillo County, New Mexico Adopts Paid Leave For “Any Reason” Law

The patchwork of paid leave laws around the country is getting increasingly more intricate as local governments adopt mandatory paid time off laws. This week, Bernalillo County, New Mexico added its patch adopting the first paid time off ordinance in New Mexico. Beginning on July 1, 2020, the Employee Wellness Act will require employers within the unincorporated limits of Bernalillo County to permit most employees to accrue paid time off and use that paid time off for any reason. While the ordinance was originally considered earlier this summer as a more traditional paid sick leave law, it was amended to allow for employees to use the time off for “any reason.” The County is following what looks to be a trend started by Maine and Nevada which both passed laws this summer allowing employees to use mandatory accrued paid time off for any reason.

New Mexico Joins the Nationwide Movement to "Ban the Box"

Executive Summary: On April 3, 2019, New Mexico expanded the state’s “Ban the Box” law to include private employers. “Ban the Box” is a nationwide effort to eliminate the checkbox on employment applications inquiring into applicants’ criminal history. Over the last few years, thirty-four states have joined the movement to “Ban the Box.” Among these states, twelve – California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington – as well as the District of Columbia have passed Ban the Box laws for private employers. In a press release, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said “[i]t is our responsibility to ensure that we create a pathway for individuals to contribute to our economy and to our communities.” This seems to be the consensus among more than 150 cities which have also enacted their own version of Ban the Box laws.

New Mexico Passes Ban-the-Box and Expungement Laws

On April 3, 2019, New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law two bills related to criminal background checks that may affect employers operating in the state. The first is a ban-the-box law that prohibits private employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history on an employment application. The second allows certain individuals to petition the court for expungement of criminal records.

New Mexico Adopts Ban-the-Box, Expungement Laws

New Mexico is the latest state to adopt statewide legislation prohibiting private employers from making inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history on the initial employment application. The state also enacted legislation prohibiting employers from asking applicants for information about a criminal record that has been sealed or expunged.

New Mexico, New Laws: “Right-to-Work” Preemption, Gender-Neutral Restrooms, Criminal History Checks — and More

New Mexico’s state legislature has been busy over the past few weeks acting on bills introduced earlier this year. The state has enacted at least nine new laws affecting employers, covering many topics from health care access and medical marijuana, to criminal background checks. Unless otherwise noted, these new provisions take effect on June 14, 2019, leaving New Mexico employers just a few months to prepare for compliance.

New Mexico Amends Medical Marijuana Law To Provide Employment Protections

The New Mexico medical marijuana law has been amended to provide employment protections to employees and applicants. The amendments were signed into law by the governor on April 4, 2019.

New Mexico’s Expanded Employment Protections for Medical Marijuana Users

In recent months, the New Mexico Legislature enacted legislation expanding employment protections for medical marijuana users. Recent changes to the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, New Mexico’s medical marijuana law, expand the range of medical conditions for which medical marijuana may be prescribed and create new employment protections for employees who legally use medical marijuana.

New Mexico’s Expanded Employment Protections: The Safe Harbor for Nurses Act

In recent months, the New Mexico legislature enacted legislation expanding employment protections for nurses. The Safe Harbor for Nurses Act allows registered and licensed practical nurses to refuse assignments under certain conditions without fear of retaliation or other adverse action by their employers.
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