Chandler: Healthy Workplaces Act Now Guarantees Workers Paid Sick Leave They Deserve

The Healthy Workplaces Act, co-sponsored by Rep. Christine Chandler, is now in effect. Photo by Maire O’Neill/


On Friday, July 1 the Healthy Workplaces Act went into law. House Bill 20 was passed by the legislature in 2021 and is being implemented and enforced by the Labor Relations Division of the Department of Workforce Solutions.

The law requres that all private employers, regardless of size, allow New Mexico employees to accrue one paid hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. The sick leave can be used for a variety of reasons such as the employee’s or a family member’s illness or injury. Employees can earn unlimited sick leave at the one hour per 30 hours of work rate, however only 64 hours of leave can be used in a year.

Rep. Christine Chandler, who was a lead co-sponsor of the bill along with Rep. Angelica Rubio, told the Los Alamos Reporter Thursday that a strong economy is built on valuing the workers who keep it running.

“The Healthy Workplaces Act guarantees workers the paid sick days they deserve, so that they can care for themselves or ailing family members without risking their financial security or harming public health,” Chandler said. “Not only is this the right thing to do but it will also help New Mexico businesses thrive by decreasing employee turnover and increasing productivity.”

There is no waiting period for employees to be able to earn and use paid sick leave under the act. Employers who do not follow the new law may face civil liability. There is no limit to the number of hours of paid sick leave an employee can earn but the number of hours an employee can use in a year is capped at 64 as well as the number of hours that can be carried forward each year.

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