Fantastic news! The New Mexico Legislature has passed a law guaranteeing almost all workers in the state the right to take paid sick time for themselves or their loved ones. The law has been sent to Governor Lujan Grisham and is expected to be signed soon, making the Land of Enchantment the fourteenth state in the US to make the right to paid sick time a reality for those who work there. Coming on the heels of the passage of a strong paid sick time law in Colorado and the 2016 ballot initiative victory for paid sick time in Arizona, passage of this law in New Mexico creates a clear right to sick time for workers across the region. The law will take effect on July 1, 2022 and will allow private sector employees the right to take up to 64 hours of paid sick time per year to care for themselves and all their closest loved ones, regardless of legal or biological relationship. The ability of workers across the state—regardless of business size—to earn 64 hours of paid sick time for themselves or loved ones establishes a new hours standard as we continue to advance sick time laws around the country. Workers will be able to earn sick time beginning on July 1, 2022 or the date they start work, whichever is later, and will be able to use the sick time as it’s earned.
We congratulate the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, the State’s paid sick time coalition, and workers from across New Mexico who worked to ensure the law’s passage. We also applaud the New Mexico Legislature and Governor Lujan Grisham for listening to workers, understanding the public health and equity case for paid sick time, and taking this critical step for New Mexicans’ health, safety, and economic security. We appreciate the genuine concern for New Mexicans in businesses of all types and sizes that the passage of this law demonstrates.
A Better Balance has worked with partners in New Mexico for years on the issue of paid sick time, and we’re proud that this strong law is based on our model bill. We are also proud to have provided ongoing support, advice, and analysis for advocates on the ground in New Mexico, and we look forward to building on this victory through similar efforts around the country.