Legislature Passes State-Wide Paid Sick Leave Law

On March 20, 2021, the state legislature passed HB 20, a paid sick leave law that allows employees (including temporary and seasonal workers) to accrue one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employers can allow employees to accrue more hours, or they can opt to provide employees with 64 hours of paid sick leave on January 1 of each year for the employees’ use throughout the year.

Employees will not be able to use more than 64 hours of leave per twelve-month period. These hours can be carried over from year to year but the 64 hours per twelve-month period is a hard limit. Employees begin earning these hours on the effective date of the law (July 1, 2022). These hours can be used for (among other things) personal (mental or physical) illness, diagnosis or treatment, and to take care of a family member who is ill. It can also be used if the employee needs to relocate or participate in legal proceedings.

Employers cannot require employees to find replacement workers while they are on this leave, nor can employers require employees to use other leave before using the leave granted under this law. Employers cannot retaliate against employees who take this leave. Employers can require documentation from an employee who used this leave for two or more consecutive days that shows the employee used the leave for a purpose allowed under the law. Employers are required to provide written or electronic notice to employees of their right to leave when they commence employment, as well as posters in conspicuous and accessible places where employees are employed. The state’s Labor Relations Division of the Workforce Solutions Department will provide model notices and posters.

Governor Lujan Grisham is expected to sign the law.

Employers in the state should be aware of this new law.

HB 20 »