Legislature: The Right To Earned Sick Leave Heads To Governor’s Desk


The right to earned sick leave for all New Mexican workers will now head to the governor’s desk to be signed into law, after the House voted 41-26 today to concur with amendments made in the Senate. 

House Bill 20: The Healthy Workplaces Act is sponsored by Rep. Christine Chandler (D-Los Alamos), Rep. Angelica Rubio (D-Las Cruces), Senate President Pro Tempore Mimi Stewart (D-Albuquerque), Rep. Daymon Ely (D-Corrales), Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-Albuquerque), and Rep. Linda Serrato (D-Santa Fe).  

“Providing earned sick days isn’t just the right thing to do for the hardworking New Mexicans who keep our economy running, it’s also a larger public health issue,” said Rep. Chandler. “When I began working on this bill, I did so knowing the incredible odds it faced. Now, after 3 debates in the House and 3 debates in the Senate, New Mexico workers are on the precipice of finally earning the stability of paid time off, and the dignity in knowing they can care for their own health and that of their loved ones.”  

“We all get sick occasionally, but for many New Mexicans, missing a day or two of pay might mean the inability to pay the rent or keep the lights on that month,” said Rep. Rubio. “I have been awe-inspired by the many hardworking New Mexicans, from all backgrounds, who’ve made their voices heard throughout this process. Who shared a common dream of a dignified workplace that respects their right to live healthy, productive lives. This win today is for them and for a New Mexico that sees its workers as people rather than a line-item on an expense report.”

“Workers are the most integral part of any successful economy, and when we make sure they’re supported, it strengthens our businesses and our state,” said Rep. Ely. “This common-sense bill is smart workforce policy, smart public health policy, and smart economic policy.” 

“In New Mexico, we value hard work and family,” said Rep. Roybal Caballero. “The Healthy Workplaces Act champions those values, and champions the rights of our hardworking New Mexicans who desire the ability to care for their loved ones and themselves without having to worry if that means sacrificing elsewhere.”

The bill requires that all employees in New Mexico accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 64 hours of leave accrued annually. Due to an amendment added in the Senate, House Bill 20 will go into effect in 14 months. 

Members of the public can track legislation on the New Mexico Legislature website, access committee meetings and House floor sessions via the Webcasts tab, or participate by Zoom to provide public comment on committee hearings. During the 2021 Legislative Session, the House of Representatives is focused on passing critical legislation while protecting the health and safety of the public, the staff, and the legislators.