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Employment Laws in New Mexico

Filed under Hiring Workers. Fact checked on April 10, 2013.

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Employers in New Mexico must conform to these state rules relating to the employment relationship.

Employee means a person in the employ of an employer or an applicant for employment.

Employer means an employer of four or more persons and an agent of an employer.

For purposes of the prohibition against smoking discrimination, employer means an employer of one or more employees.

Prohibited Employment Discrimination

It is an unlawful discriminatory practice for employers to base their hiring or employment practices on an individual's:

  • race
  • age
  • religion
  • color
  • national origin
  • ancestry
  • sex
  • physical or mental disability
  • medical condition (including the results of AIDS-virus tests)
  • sexual orientation
  • gender identity
  • smoking preference

Disaster and emergency services leave. New Mexico has enacted the Volunteer Emergency Responder Job Protection Act to protect employees from termination who, as members of a volunteer fire department, an emergency medical service, a search and rescue team or a law enforcement agency, or persons enrolled by the state or political subdivision for response to an emergency or disaster, are absent from employment to respond to an emergency or disaster.

Employees are to make a reasonable effort to notify employers and to continue to notify employers during the absence. Employers may request that employees give written verification that the employee served as a volunteer emergency responder to the emergency or disaster.

Protection from termination does not apply if the employee is absent for more than ten regular business days in a calendar year. In addition, employers may charge the absence against the employee's regular pay time.

Miners. Employees are protected when filing a complaint, giving testimony or participating in a proceeding relating to an unlawful discriminatory employment practice, relating to safety and health under the New Mexico Occupational Safety and Health Act, or relating to health and safety in a mine under the Mine Safety Act.

Fair Pay for Women Act. Effective June 14, 2013, the Fair Pay for Women Act prohibits employers from discriminating between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees at a rate less than that paid to employees of the opposite sex for equal work on jobs that require equal skill, effort and responsibility and that are performed under similar working conditions. There are exceptions for payments made pursuant to:

  • a seniority system;
  • a merit system; or
  • a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production.

Social media privacy. Effective June 14, 2013, employers may not request or require a prospective employee to provide a password in order to gain access to the prospective employee's account or profile on a social networking website, or demand access in any manner to a prospective employee's account or profile on a social networking website.

Recordkeeping/Posting Requirements

Employers must post notices in a conspicuous place that set forth the requirements for complying with the New Mexico Human Rights Act and give any other relevant information as determined by the state's Human Rights Division.

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