As we head into February, a review of this week’s legislative listing of the New Mexico Legislature shows HB6, one of the three paid family medical leave pieces of legislation introduced, was sent to the HHHC/HCEDC (House Health and Human Services and the Commerce and Economic Development Committees). On January 25, 2024, the HHHC recommended a “Do Pass” for the proposed legislation. HB11 was referred to the HHHC with no further action since the 18th. Since the initial creation of this article SB3 has now advanced with a “Do Pass” recommendation from STBTC (Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee).
See a review of the basics of HB6 below. (The basics of SB3 will be highlighted next week.) Sections 1-4 of HB6 identify who is covered, what is covered, and the proposed rates for the employee and the employer:
The legislation covers employers who have one or more employees in the state, regardless as to whether the employer is out of state. Specifically, it covers “all public and private employees subject to state jurisdiction,” unless an employer has an existing program substantially similar or greater than the plan administered by DWS. In this case, the employer would have to apply for and receive a waiver. Self-employed individuals and Indian Tribes may but are not required to participate. The program is not applicable to employees of the federal government.
While the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is unpaid, the legislation surrounding what the proposed paid state program covers is very similar to the language under the FMLA. However, like the state Healthy Workplaces Act, the leave broadly defines eligibility by including circumstances around “Any other individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee or employee’s spouse or domestic partner is the equivalent of a family relationship.” The circumstances for the leave include, “family leave, medical leave, qualifying exigency leave (similar to the military components of the FMLA), and safe leave (domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, and abuse).
The program will start January 2026 and after one year of employment, employees that are approved for the leave may be eligible for up to twelve-week’s of consecutive or intermittent leave paid at a rate of the state minimum wage plus 67% of their own average weekly salary from the past year, with certain limitations. (See Section 5F). Employees will pay in at a rate of ½ of a percent of their wages starting January 1, 2026. Annual adjustments will be assessed in 2028. Employers with five or more employees will begin by paying 4/10 of a percent. The employee must have contributed to the fund for a minimum of six months during the prior twelve-month period to qualify for use of the leave.
Southwestern HR Consulting (SWHRC) will be tracking this piece of legislation as it makes its way through the legislature. Follow us through LinkedIn or on our site at swhrc.com, as we follow these proposed Act.
Written by | Magdalena Vigil-Tullar
HR Consultant | MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CLRP
Phone: 505-270-7494 | Email: email@example.com