How does this apply if your employees work exclusively on the Navajo Nation?

The Healthy Workplaces Act does not apply to any work done on Tribal Land, including Trust Land, and the Division has no authority to enforce its laws for work performed there. This is true whether the employer is owned or operated by a tribe or tribal member or a non-tribal member. Any business owned or operated by a tribe or tribal member is exempt from the requirements of the Act, even if work is performed off tribal land. 

If we have a single PTO policy that incorporates the requirements of the Act and an employee uses all their PTO, does the employer need to provide additional PTO for the employee if they get sick?

No. The Division recommends employers make it clear to employees that one bank of PTO that can be used for any reason means that employees will not have paid sick leave available if they exhaust their PTO balance. However, remember that the PTO must be subject to the same usage, accrual, carryover and other requirements of the Act. 

Must employees accrue PSL for travel time?

It depends. Travel during the work day from job site to job site is generally compensable work time and PSL will accrue, but normal travel from home to work or work to home is not work time and PSL will not accrue. The “portal-to-portal” exclusion under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not apply in New Mexico, so if employees are required to meet at a central location to be transported to the job site, that travel time would be considered compensable time and PSL would accrue. 

Do part-time employees also accrue sick leave?

Yes. Part-time, temporary, and seasonal employees must also accrue paid sick leave at a minimum of 1 hour per 30 hours worked. This is calculated on a rolling basis, so a part-time employee who works 20 hours each week will accrue 0.67 hours of paid sick per week. By the end of the third week, that employee will have a paid sick leave balance of 2 hours.

Must employees accrue paid sick leave while out of the office on vacation or while using sick leave?

No. Employees only accrue a minimum of 1 hour paid sick leave for every 30 hours actually worked. However, an employee who is required to remain on the employer’s premises or so close thereto that he cannot use the time effectively for his own purposes is working while “on call.” This would be compensable time and therefore PSL would accrue. On the other hand, an employee who is not required to remain at the employer’s premises but is merely required to leave word at his home or with company officials where he may be reached is not working while on call. If the employee is fully able to use the time for his or her own purposes while on call, then PSL would not accrue.   

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