Santa Fe, N.M. – Legislation guaranteeing earned sick leave for New Mexican workers passed the House of Representatives 36-33 today and will now head to the Senate for consideration. Here is a statement from the NM House Democrats:
House Bill 20: The Healthy Workplaces Act is 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).
“We’ve tragically lost 3,700 New Mexicans to COVID-19, yet half of our state’s workforce can’t afford to take time off when they’re sick or infected,” said Rep. Chandler. “Until all of our workers can access paid sick days that allows them to care for themselves or family members without compromising their financial security, COVID-19 and other illnesses will continue to spread through our workplaces.”
“During the pandemic, and beyond, all hard-working New Mexicans deserve to be able to take care of themselves or family members when they’re sick, without the threat of shattering their family’s budget,” said Rep. Rubio. “No one should have to choose between taking a needed sick day or being able to pay their bills. HB 20 ensures that workers in New Mexico won’t have to.”
“Providing earned sick leave isn’t just the right thing to do for our workers and public health, it’s also smart business policy,” said Rep. Ely. “It ultimately saves companies money because employee turnover decreases, worker productivity increases, and it greatly reduces chances of COVID-19 or other outbreaks.”
“Sickness, exposures, and family emergencies are inevitable, and all New Mexicans deserve to be able to afford to take time off work when they do,” said Rep. Roybal Caballero. “By passing this legislation, we’re sending a clear message that New Mexico values our workers. Providing earned sick leave isn’t just a matter of delivering this fundamental right to our workers, it’s also about public health, which is more important now than ever before. As legislators, we represent hardworking families, and we have an obligation to act in their best interests.”
HB 20 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 of leave accrued annually. Workers would begin accruing sick time when the policy begins 120 days after signing, July 1st.
Members of the public can track legislation on the New Mexico Legislature website, access committee meetings and House floor sessions via the Webcasts tab, or participate by Zoom to provide public comment on committee hearings. During the 2021 Legislative Session, the House of Representatives is focused on passing critical legislation while protecting the health and safety of the public, the staff, and the legislators.