About New Mexico Paid Sick Leave (Healthy Workplaces Act)

The Healthy Workplaces Act of 2021 is a law requiring all private employers in New Mexico to allow employees to accrue and use a benefit called earned sick leave. The law took effect on July 1, 2022. The Act lets employees earn and use paid sick leave. Employees may use this leave for various reasons listed in the Act, like the employee’s or their qualifying family member's illness or injury, or to deal with certain legal and family issues. Employers who do not honor an employee’s rights to sick leave face potential civil liability. The Act authorizes the Labor Relations Division (LRD) of the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (DWS) to investigate violations and enforce the Healthy Workplaces Act.

Employers with paid-time-off policies that are more generous than the minimum accrual and usage limits specified in Act are compliant with the Act if employees may use the leave for the same purposes and under the same terms and conditions specified in the Act.

The earned sick leave required by the Act is in addition to any paid time off provided by an employer pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement unless employees may use the paid time off for the same purposes and under the same terms and conditions specified in the Act.

Healthy Workplaces Act Final Rules 

Healthy Workplaces State Statute, NMSA Chapter 50, Article 17 - PDF


File Now

File online by clicking the link below

Healthy Workplaces Act Complaint Form - English

Formulario de Denuncia de la Ley de Lugares de Trabajo Saludables - Español

Frequently Asked Paid Sick Leave Questions

FAQs all-in-one - PDF

You may accrue as many hours as your employer’s policy allows. However, the employer is only required to carry over a maximum of 64 accrued hours. Also, the employer is only required to permit an employee to use 64 hours of paid sick leave per year, regardless of how many hours the employee has accrued.
Yes. Part-time employees accrue paid sick leave at the same rate as full-time employees: one hour for every thirty hours worked. If an employer chooses to frontload hours for a part-time employee, the employer is still required to frontload a minimum of 64 hours.
No. If an employer has a policy that permits employees to choose to have their unused sick leave paid out at the end of the year instead of carrying over, they must pay employees according to their full hourly rate. However, an employer is not required to give employees the option to cash out unused sick leave instead of carrying it over into the next year.
A complaint may be filed online or in-person.

To file a complaint online go to https://www.dws.state.nm.us/NMPaidSickLeave and click the link under File Now in either English or Español. You may also download a complaint form under Resources, Guides, and Training that you can physically fill out and sign then mail, email, fax, or drop-off to any Labor Relations Division office or to any New Mexico Workforce Connection Center across the state.

Any New Mexico Workforce Connection Center will assist in providing access to a paper complaint form that you may fill out and leave with staff or take home and bring back, mail, email, or fax. Free access to computers are also available in each location to fill out a complaint online.
Our agency advises against a "borrowing sick leave" provision. This practice is administratively burdensome and complicated not only for the company but for the Labor Relations Division should we need to investigate a complaint. It is rife with opportunity for errors in calculations of time earned, used, and borrowed. Under Rules promulgated to enforce the provisions of the HWA, if the Division finds that an employer has not maintained accurate and complete records of paid sick leave accrual and usage, the Division may base its calculation of damages owed on other reasonable, credible evidence, including but not limited to the complainant’s estimates. (See NMAC.)

Also, the "paying back" of sick leave could be an improper payroll deduction under New Mexico's Wage Payment Act. The frontloading structure of accrual, which is allowed for under the Act, could address a company's concerns regarding an employee not having accrued enough sick leave at the time the employee needs to use the hours. The Legislature did not address this in the statute but from an agency perspective, a "borrowing" policy brings unnecessary complication, confusion, and exposure to liability.

No. Any attempt to require an employee of any kind to sign a contract or other agreement that would limit or prevent an employee from asserting rights under the HWA is prohibited by the Act. An employer’s attempt to impose such a contract, agreement, or policy shall constitute an adverse action under the Act that is punishable by statutory damages of $250 for each occurrence.


Contact Labor Relations Division

Albuquerque Map
401 Broadway Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Phone: 505-841-4400
Fax: 505-841-4424
Las Cruces Map
Las Cruces
226 South Alameda Blvd
Las Cruces NM 88005
Phone: 575-524-6195
Fax: 575-524-6194

Resources, Guides, and Training

Paid Sick Leave Poster
Healthy Workplaces Act Complaint Form

This form is for complaints alleging violations of the accrued sick leave requirements under the New Mexico Healthy Workplaces Act

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