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Employers give mixed reaction to new paid sick leave for New Mexico employees

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - New Mexico private employers are now required by law to offer their employees paid sick leave.

The law went into effect on July 1st, after New Mexico Governor Lujan Grisham signed into law the Healthy Workplaces Act (HB 20) on April 8, 2021, requiring most employers provide up to 64 hours of paid sick leave per year to their New Mexico employees.

The law applies to both part-time and full-time employees who earn at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work.

Employers can offer more, but that is the minimum now required by the state of New Mexico.

Owner of Las Cruces restaurants Game 1 and Game 2, Marci Dickerson shared her concerns over the new law.

“All they have to do is call them five minutes before their shift and say ‘I’m taking X amount of paid time off’ and there’s nothing we can do," said Dickerson.

Also, some workers in Las Cruces were concerned about what this law will mean for workers who aren't calling in sick.

“I worry about what I leave behind if I were to call in, how I leave the people in the kitchen, how I leave them hanging, with the work that I don’t do that they’ll have to do for me,” said Andrew Reed, a Las Cruces restaurant employee.

When she signed HB 20 into law, Governor Lujan Grisham said, "This is, point blank, a humane policy for workers...No one should ever be compelled to come to work when they are sick. And no worker should ever feel they must choose between their health and their livelihood."

However, Dickerson told ABC-7 that this new bill will cost her business anywhere between $120,000 - $160,000.

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Sam Harasimowicz

Sam Harasimowicz is a reporter, producer and one of the anchors of ABC-7’s weekend evening news programs


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