How Does the New Mexico Healthy Workplaces Act of 2021 Affect Your Restaurant?

What Is The New Mexico Healthy Workplaces Act of 2021?

The Healthy Workplaces Act of 2021 takes effect on July 1, 2022. This law requires all private employers in New Mexico to allow employees to accrue and use earned sick leave.

Employees may use this leave for several reasons listed in the Act; for example, taking care of a qualifying family member or recovering from an illness themselves.

New Mexico Healthy Workplaces Act of 2021 Background

Employers with paid-time-off (PTO) policies that are more generous than the minimum accrual and usage limits specified in the new law, are compliant with the new law, under their existing PTO plan, if employees may use the leave for the same purposes and under the same terms and conditions specified in the new law. 

  • Tipped employees who are ordinarily paid less than the full minimum wage due to a “tip credit” must receive the full state or local minimum wage (whichever is greater) when using earned sick leave. 
  • Hourly employees would be paid their regular hourly wage. 

Restaurant server providing food for guests

New Mexico Healthy Workplaces Act of 2021 Details

  • An employer may not require, as a condition of an employee’s using accrued earned sick leave, that the employee search for or find a replacement worker to cover the hours during which the employee is using earned sick leave. 
  • Employers can satisfy the reporting provision and stay in compliance with the new law by reporting accrued and used sick leave on employees’ wage statement each payroll. 
  • Employers are not required to pay an employee for accrued but unused earned sick leave upon an employee’s termination, resignation, retirement, or other separation from employment. 

Accrual Under the New Mexico Healthy Workplaces Act of 2021 Background

  • Under the Healthy Workplaces Act of 2021, employees accrue one hour of earned sick leave for every thirty hours worked. 
  • An employer may instead choose to frontload employees the full sixty-four hours of earned sick leave in a lump sum. 
  • Of course, an employer may choose a higher accrual rate or a higher frontloaded amount. 

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Usage Limit Under the New Mexico Healthy Workplaces Act of 2021 Background

Under the Health Workplaces Act of 2021, employees are not entitled to use more than sixty-four hours of accrued earned sick leave per twelve-month period unless the employer selects a higher limit. 

Usage Reasons Under the New Mexico Healthy Workplaces Act of 2021 Background

An employee may use accrued earned sick leave immediately after it is accrued for the following reasons: 

  1. Because of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition 
  2. The need to seek a medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition 
  3. The need to seek preventive medical care. 
  4. Due to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking 
  5. To care for or assist a family member through any of the situations listed in reason 1-4 
  6. The need to attend meetings at their child’s school or place of care related to the child’s health or disability 

Restaurant server holding tray of drinks

The New Mexico Healthy Workplaces Act of 2021 Carry Over

Up to sixty-four hours of accrued but unused earned sick leave shall carry over from one plan year to the next. 

Additional Resources: https://www.dws.state.nm.us/NMPaidSickLeave  

Additional Information for the New Mexico Healthy Workplaces Act of 2021 Background

The information below is based on the minimum requirements of The New Mexico earned sick leave plan and the following should be reported on each employee’s pay stub for hours worked on and after July 1, 2022: 

  1. The amount of earned sick leave (ESL) for the current pay period 
  2. The total amount of ESL accrued for the year (capped at sixty-four hours per year) 
  3. The amount of ESL available for use (capped at sixty-four hours per year) 
  4. The amount of ESL taken for the current pay period  
  5. The total amount of ESL taken for the benefit year (capped at sixty-four hours per year) 

Restaurant server providing menus for guests

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How Can Restaurant Technology Assist With the New Mexico Healthy Workplaces Act of 2021?

Restaurant compliance changes on what seems like a daily basis in recent times, and if you’re not privy to the updated or new legislation that passes federally, or just in your area you can be left with crippling compliance fees. The savvy compliance team at RASI makes sure to understand the latest regulations so you don’t have to! Furthermore, our restaurant accounting software adapts to new legislation to ensure compliance, making it easy for you to run your business.

Request a Demo Today to learn more about how our team can help protect your valuable assets, employees, stakeholders, and business!

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