New Mexico: Updates Minimum Wage, Pregnancy Accommodations, “Red Flag” Gun Law, and More

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Governor Michelle Grisham recently signed a draft of bills that impact employer obligations in New Mexico, including revisions to the statewide minimum wage, addition of a “red flag” firearm law, statewide retirement, and more.  Below is a summary of the new bills, all of which go into effect May 20, 2020, unless otherwise noted.

Minimum Wage Increases

State and local minimum wage rates have increased as follows:

Region Effective Date New Rate
Statewide 1/1/2020 $9.00/hr (up from $7.50)

$2.35/hr (up from $2.13) for tipped employees

Albuquerque 1/1/2020 $9.35/hr (up from $9.20)

$8.35/hr for employers who provide child care or health care benefits valued at $2,500/yr

$5.60/hr (up from $5.50) for tipped employees

Bernalillo 1/2/2020 $9.20/hr (up from $9.05)
Las Cruces 1/1/2020 $10.25/hr (up from $10.10)

$4.10/hr (up from $4.04) for tipped employees

City of Santa Fe 3/1/2020 $12.10/hr (up from $11.80)
County of Santa Fe 3/1/2020 $12.10/hr (up from $11.80)

$3.62/hr (up from $3.53) for tipped employees

HB 25 | Pregnancy Accommodations and Anti-Discrimination Provision

HB 25 amends the statewide human rights act to prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or a related condition.  Employers must also provide reasonable accommodations to employees or applicants on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. Reasonable accommodations may include things like modifying the individual’s work schedule, job responsibilities, or work environment.

SB 5 | “Red Flag” Gun Law

The Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order Act (ERFPO) allows a court to issue a protection order, which requires an individual to turn over their firearms and forbids the future purchase or attempted acquisition of a firearm.  Certain family members and employers may request law enforcement to file a protection order and provide evidence substantiating the need for the order.  Law enforcement will evaluate any evidence provided to determine if the individual poses a significant danger to self or others by possessing a firearm.  Once filed, a court that finds probable cause based on the petition must issue a temporary protection order and conduct a hearing within 10 days, at which point the judge will determine if a one-year extreme risk firearm protection order should be issued.

HB 21 | Prohibits Non-Disclosures Concerning Harassment, Discrimination, or Retaliation

Applicable to all agreements between private employers and current/former employees executed on or after May 20, 2020, HB 21 voids non-disclosure or confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements concerning claims of sexual harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.  Such provisions are only permitted if the non-disclosure provision relates to the monetary amount of the settlement, or if the employee requests the non-disclosure of facts that could lead to the identification of the employee.

HB 44 | State-Run Retirement Savings Program

The New Mexico Work and Save Act creates a low-cost retirement savings program run by a state board.  Employers and employees who do not currently have employer-based retirement accounts may voluntarily participate in this retirement plan, which will be funded by employee payroll contributions.  Employees can begin contributing no later than January 1, 2022.

Tribal Casino Immunity

On January 16, 2020, in Mendoza v. Isleta Resort and Casino, the New Mexico Supreme Court stated that a tribe that establishes a workers’ compensation program as part of its tribal gaming compact does not necessarily waive its sovereign immunity to workers’ compensation claims. Tribal compacts with state governments should be reviewed for consistency with this ruling.

Action Items

  1. Review the bills linked in the above summaries.
  2. Review compensation and payroll records to ensure minimum wage requirements for your locale are met.
  3. Have managers trained on the interactive process and reasonable accommodations available for employees who are pregnant or experiencing pregnancy-related conditions.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2020 ManagEase

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