The Governor continues her slow roll of signing off on bills passed during the Legislative Session. On Thursday Governor Lujan Grisham signed 10 bills into law including the very contentious House bill 20. HB 20, the Healthy Workplaces Act, will require all New Mexican employers to provide employees with paid sick leave. Employers will be required to provide an hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 64 hours per year. But that’s far from the only issue in the bill that will harm employers in the state. HB 20 further requires 80 hours of supplemental leave for fulltime employees and double the hours worked by part time employees during a public health emergency. The bill also will contribute to our ever-growing state government since it requires 10 new full time state employees and technological investments. HB 20 however, included no appropriation for those new employees or the nearly $100,000 in required technology, so the state will have to find the funding for it’s implementation after the budget has been solidified.
Finally, the bill has the potential to create an unprecedented legal situation where the Attorney General, an employee, or employee’s agent can file a court action for up to 3 years after the alleged violation – and the burden of proof is solely on the business owner to defend. In addition, there are jurisdictional issues created in this bill between District Attorneys who currently handle labor issues and the Attorney General who does not.
NM Legislators began this bill with the best of intentions and sought to provide a little help for NM workers. But through the legislative process HB 20 crossed the finish line with as a bloated and litigious mandate that will harm employees and employers alike. Click HERE to read more.