New Mexico Labor Laws

Labor laws in New Mexico tend to favor the business over the individual. There are no laws that require an employer to give any kind of break (coffee, lunch, or otherwise) to their employees. An employer can lower your wage at any time, provided they notify you before you work any hours at the lower rate. Severance, holiday and/or vacation pay are not required of an employer, in addition, employers do not have to pay employees who take time off for sickness. Be sure to clarify all job details, including payment, break schedule, and deductions for the said schedule before accepting a position with a potential employer.

The Department of Workforce Solutions is responsible for administering all labor laws in New Mexico. The state minimum wage is $7.50; and if you are under eighteen years of age and do not have a high school diploma, New Mexico laws allow an employer to pay you less than the minimum wage.

New Mexico Labor Law Breaks

Regarding breaks for all employees, New Mexico abides by federal law by default. Only if it lasts less than 20 minutes must a meal break be paid if an employer wishes to offer one. As long as the employee is entirely relieved of all obligations, breaks longer than 30 minutes are considered meal intervals and do not require payment.

Overtime Pay

Any employer asking an employee to work more than eight hours in a day, or forty hours in a week, must pay time and a half that employee’s hourly wage. An employer is required by law to pay this wage; employees can’t agree to work for their regular wage or to time off in lieu of overtime pay.

Employees working in industries such as agriculture, administration, and outside sales may be excluded from this law. For full clarification, or to find out the status of your position as it relates to overtime pay, contact your local New Mexico Department of Workplace Solutions.

When the Stork Arrives

New Mexico does not have a state maternity law. Prospective parents get twelve weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave provided by the federal Family Medical Leave Act. In order to be eligible for this you must work for an employer with at least fifty employees and have worked enough hours in the last fifty-two weeks to qualify. Some states will modify the length of the leave, or loosen the restriction for eligibility; New Mexico is not one of these states.

Children on the Job

A child as young as fourteen may hold a job in the state of New Mexico. The job can only be for a limited number of hours and those hours must fall outside of school time. In addition, children under the age of sixteen cannot work in certain environments that are considered hazardous.

Any child under sixteen years of age must have a special work permit. These permits must be issued by an approved individual in the school, or at the Department of Workforce Solutions. The permits must be renewed after one year if still required.

Did you know?

Even though many labor laws in New Mexico seem to favor employers, one thing in employees’ favor is the fact that you are not required to give two weeks’ notice when you quit your job. So, should you find that perfect job that takes you away from the tyranny you may be experiencing now, you can start right away!

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