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blog banner of New Mexico PTO Laws

New Mexico PTO Laws: A Complete Guide to Paid Time Off Laws

New Mexico’s paid time off (PTO) law is a set of regulations that employers must be familiar with to ensure compliance in the workplace. These laws govern the allocation, accrual, and usage of paid time off for employees, encompassing vacation, sick, and other types of leave. Employers must comply with the various PTO laws in their policies to ensure fair treatment of employees, maintain productivity, and avoid legal liabilities.

Effective management of PTO benefits both employers and employees, which is why employers must meet their legal obligations. This comprehensive guide on New Mexico PTO law provides employers with details of various laws, emphasizing the importance of compliance.

As of 2024, New Mexico PTO law doesn’t mandate private employers to offer vacation leave to employees. The state does not require any vacation leave quota, leaving it to employers to define their policies, so the decision is at their discretion.

However, if an employer offers paid or unpaid vacation leave, the policies should be communicated and consistently applied to all employees. Employees must be informed about policies governing the accrual, usage, and payment of accrued leave upon termination.


PTO accruals refer to the accumulation of paid time off based on an employee’s length of service and hours worked. In New Mexico, PTO accruals are not mandatory, but still, most employers allow employees to accrue PTO, typically based on factors such as years of service or hours worked. The employer must permit accrual per pay period, monthly, or yearly. Employers also have the freedom to cap vacation accrual.

Employers must communicate the accrual method and rates to employees and ensure accurate tracking of accrued PTO to prevent misunderstandings or disputes.

Rollover of accrued PTO

New Mexico is one of the states allowing a use-it-or-lose-it policy. Employers can prevent employees from carrying over accrued PTO to the following year. In the absence of any rollover provision in New Mexico PTO law, the policies regarding the rollover or carryover of accrued but unused PTO from one year to the next, if allowed, depend on employer policies. Employers may implement rollover provisions to incentivize employees to use their accrued PTO responsibly while accommodating fluctuations in staffing needs throughout the year.

Statutory provisions addressing vacation pay

The state has no statutory provisions as accrued vacation time is not treated as wages. New Mexico PTO law does not mandate employers to offer accrued vacation time or pay for unused PTO within a specified timeframe after an employee’s termination.

New Mexico Laws on Payment of Accrued, Unused Vacation on Termination

Payment of accrued, unused vacation time on termination is not mandatory. As the state doesn’t require employers to offer paid or unpaid vacation time, there is no provision to make employers pay for unused PTO upon termination.

However, if an employer in New Mexico has a policy allowing employees to accrue vacation time, unused vacation time is considered wages. In such a scenario, New Mexico PTO law requires employers to pay employees for accrued, unused vacation time upon termination.

New Mexico Sick Leave Policy

New Mexico follows the federal guidelines for sick leave. Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), all eligible employees must be allowed 12 weeks of unpaid sick leave. The eligible employees are the individuals who: 

Employed with the current employer for at least 12 months or worked 1,250 hours in the previous year

Works at a location with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius

Employees can use unpaid sick leave to attend to a family member’s personal or medical needs due to injury, mental illness, maternity, or paternity requirements. FMLA sick leave is unpaid. 

New Mexico Paid Sick Law

The New Mexico Paid Sick Leave Law, which took effect on July 1, 2022, mandates that employers should provide paid sick leave to all employees (part-time, seasonal, and temporary ones) for their own or a family member’s illness, medical appointments, or other covered reasons.

Employers must ensure compliance with the accrual rate of 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employees can also carry over unused paid sick leave to the following year. 

However, employers can cap paid sick time to 64 hours annually. Furthermore, it is not mandatory to pay unused or paid sick leave on termination.

By offering paid sick leave, employers can demonstrate their commitment to employee wellness and mitigate the spread of illness in the workplace.

In Bernalillo County, New Mexico, all employers with more than two employees should allow employees to accrue 1 hour of paid leave for every 32 hours worked. This leave can be up to 56 hours in 3 years and used for any purpose. 

Maternity, Paternity and FMLA Leave Provisions

  • In New Mexico, while there are no state-specific laws for paid maternity or paternity leave, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies. 
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees with job-protected leave for birth and care of a newborn child and adoption or foster care placement. It allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for maternal or paternal requirements. 
  • In addition to FMLA, New Mexico also follows the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) to protect the rights of pregnant women. As per the act, employers cannot discriminate against pregnant employees or make decisions about their hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, etc. 
  • In addition to the federal laws, New Mexico also has the New Mexico Human Rights Act mandating all employers with four or more employees to treat pregnancy as any other medical condition, and there should be no discrimination due to pregnancy, childbirth, or other pregnancy-related medical conditions.  

Bereavement Leave

Bereavement leave in New Mexico is not mandated by state law and depends on the employer’s discretion. However, most employers offer bereavement leave when an employee experiences the death of a family member. Typically, the leave offered is two days and is unpaid. The policies regarding bereavement leave, such as duration and eligibility, depend on the employers’ policies and should be outlined in the employee handbook or employment contracts.

Employers who offer bereavement leave often see it as a way to provide support and compassion to their employees during difficult times.

Jury Duty Leave

All employers must offer unpaid jury duty leave, providing employees the necessary time off to fulfill their civic obligations as jurors. Employees should be allowed to serve on a jury without fear of retaliation or adverse employment actions from employers. Employers cannot penalize or discriminate against employees for serving on jury duty or make them use sick leave, vacation time, or other accrued PTO for jury duty.

This leave must be provided to full-time and part-time employees, regardless of their length of service or tenure with the employer. Employers are not required to pay employees for time spent on jury duty. However, employees serving on the jury are paid $7.50 a day as juror pay.

Military Leave

As part of New Mexico PTO law, military leave is a crucial aspect of employment law that provides protections and benefits for employees who serve in the armed forces or National Guard. Employers should be aware of their obligations regarding military leave to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations while supporting employees in their military service requirements.

New Mexico implements the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), which provides additional protections for military service members, including:

1. Job reinstatement rights upon return from military leave.

2. Continuation of health benefits during military service.

3. Protection against discrimination or retaliation based on military service.

As per USERRA, leave for active military service can be up to 5 years without pay. In addition, they should be provided 24 months of health care coverage while on leave.

New Mexico State Law 

New Mexico also has state laws protecting military personnel from retaliation from employers to serve in the military. It applied to all service members from the National Guard, the US Armed Forces, and other reserved services. The law requires that all such employees be reinstated within 90 days of leaving their active duty or recovery from injury.

Voting Leave

New Mexico’s employment laws mandate that employers provide employees up to 2 hours of paid time off for voting. However, this leave is optional for employees whose work time starts after 2 hours of voting time or ends 3 hours before voting ends. Voting leave in New Mexico allows employees to exercise their democratic rights without fear of reprisal or loss of pay.

Employers cannot request proof of voting or require advance notification for voting time off.

New Mexico State Holidays in 2024

New Mexico observes various state holidays throughout the year. However, private employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid holidays to employees. Public employees are provided with 11 state holidays.

Here is the complete list of holidays observed in New Mexico in 2024:

Holiday Observed in 2024 General Date
New Year’s Day 2024 Monday, January 1 January 1
Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, January 15 3rd Monday in January
Memorial Day Monday, May 27 Last Monday in May
Juneteenth Wednesday, June 19 June 19
Independence Day Thursday, July 4 July 4
Labor Day Monday, September 2 1st Monday in September
Indigenous Peoples’ Day Monday, October 14 2nd Monday in October
Veterans Day Monday, November 11 November 11
Thanksgiving Day Thursday, November 28 4th Thursday of November
Presidents’ Day (Observed) (*) Friday, November 29 Day after Thanksgiving
Christmas Day Wednesday, Dec. 25 December 25

How can Truein help with paid time off management?

Truein offers comprehensive solutions for paid time off (PTO) management, empowering employers to streamline the process of tracking, managing, and administering employee leave benefits. As a cloud-based facial recognition time and attendance system, Truein accurately monitors work hours. It can automate the accrual tracking process, allowing employers to set up customized accrual policies based on employee tenure, hours worked, or other criteria. HR can use its robust features to calculate accrued PTO hours for each employee, reducing errors and ensuring accurate leave balances.

Its dashboard provides a centralized platform for employees to submit leave requests, streamlining the approval process and facilitating communication between employees and managers. Employers can view and manage all leave requests in one place, enabling efficient decision-making and scheduling adjustments. With over 70 customizable policy templates, Truein helps employers comply with state and federal PTO regulations, including vacation, sick, and FMLA laws. Employers can establish and enforce customized PTO policies tailored to their organization’s needs, defining rules for accrual rates, carryover limits, blackout periods, and other parameters.

It offers seamless integration with payroll systems, enabling automatic synchronization of PTO data with payroll processing. Its mobile app acts as an employee self-service portal where employees can view their leave balances, submit leave requests, and track the status of their requests in real time.

Learn more about Truein’s PTO management features here.

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Understanding New Mexico PTO law is crucial for employers to ensure legal compliance. It also plays a significant role in employee satisfaction and retention. Effective PTO management can contribute positively to the work environment and the business’s overall success. Truein offers a comprehensive solution for PTO management, providing employers with the tools and features they need to streamline leave administration, ensure compliance with regulations, and enhance employee satisfaction.

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