Santa Fe, N.M. – All New Mexico workers will now have guaranteed access to earned sick leave, under new legislation signed into law today by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. Here is a statement from the NM House Democrats:
House Bill 20: The Healthy Workplaces Act was sponsored by Rep. Christine Chandler (D-Los Alamos), Rep. Angelica Rubio (D-Las Cruces), Senate President Pro Tempore Mimi Stewart (D-Albuquerque), Rep. Daymon Ely (D-Corrales), and Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-Albuquerque).
“No one should have to go to work sick and risk public health because they can’t afford to lose a day’s pay. Yet more than half of our state’s workforce, many of whom are in essential positions, have been denied the right to earned time off to care for themselves or a loved one when they fall ill,” said lead sponsor Rep. Chandler. “It’s been a hard-fought battle, but I’m so proud that New Mexico will now guarantee this fundamental right to everyone in our workforce.”
“Much of our work in the 2021 legislature has rightly focused on helping our businesses survive the pandemic, and this is the top bill truly focused on workers’ rights, which I’m incredibly proud to have sponsored,” said Rep. Rubio. “Today’s signature into law is a victory for the hardworking New Mexicans of every background who made their voices heard and demanded respect and basic rights for the workers who keep our state’s economy running every day.”
“A strong economy is one that values and respects its workers, their health, and their families, and that’s what we are fighting to build in New Mexico,” said Rep. Ely. “The United States is the only developed nation that doesn’t require some form of sick leave at a federal level, but with this new law, we can ensure that the workforce in our state receives access to this fundamental right recognized across the globe.”
“The pandemic shined a bright and distressing light on just how many of our frontline and essential workers are living without earned sick days, threatening not only their own wellbeing but overall public health,” said Rep. Roybal Caballero. “With today’s signature of HB20 into law, we are creating a healthier, safer New Mexico for all of our workers, families, and communities.”
The Healthy Workplaces Act requires that all employees in New Mexico accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 64 hours annually. The new law will go into effect on July 1, 2022.