As noted in last week’s article, Paid Family Medical Leave, passed the senate on Saturday, 3/4/23, SWHRC has provided a summarization below for our readers. Additional, detail can be found on the link to the amended Act, above.
The Act creates a fund as administered by the Department of Workforce Solutions which pays an eligible employee a percentage of their salary to bond with a new child, for medical reasons including to care for a family member, and for an employee or a member of an employee’s family who is the victim of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault or abuse (also known as the “safe” provisions). Employers with five or more employees who don’t have an equal program that has qualified for a waiver are required to participate in funding the program. (Additional exclusions are included but this Act will affect the majority of employers in New Mexico.)
The program is intended to fund employee absences up to twelve weeks in a twelve month period which can be used consecutively or on an intermittent basis (minimum 8 hours for each absence). The employer’s contribution is 4/10 of a percent of each employee’s wage to be paid on a quarterly basis from January 1, 2025 until January 1, 2028, with an updated amount thereafter. The employee’s payment will be 1/2 percent of the employee’s wages beginning January 1, 2025 and for each calendar quarter until January 1, 2028 with a change in the rate thereafter. The Act clearly states that “An employer shall not recover, or seek to recover, any amounts assessed against employers…from the employer’s employees.” Disbursements for eligible employees will begin January 1, 2026. Rules will be promulgated by the DWS by July 1, 2024.
Other items to note include:
- The bonding period noted above must occur within twelve months of the birth or adoption of a child or placement of a child with the employee,
- The leave noted to care for a family member is applicable if the family member has a “serious health condition or following the death of a child for whom the employee would have otherwise qualified for family leave.”
- The definition of family under the Act is broad so employers should review the amendment to understand applicability .
- Additional requirements are listed for “safe” cases.
- Wages include commissions, bonuses, and other remuneration as listed under the amendment.
- Additional criteria for employee claims are listed on page 12 of the amendment.
- The wage will be an average with the exception that the maximum amount of weekly leave compensation which will be determined as noted on page 15 of the amended Act.
- The amendment does not allow an employer to require an employee exhaust any other leave prior to the use of Paid Family and Medical Leave.
- The employer will be required to provide notice to the DWS when the employee returns.
SWHRC will be tracking this legislation for additional updates. See the link to the amended Act above for more information.
Written by | Magdalena Vigil-Tullar
HR Consultant | MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CLRP
Phone: 505-270-7494 | Email: email@example.com