New Mexico Leave of Absence (FMLA): What you need to know

Private employers. Some states have comprehensive laws that require employers to grant employees time off for the birth or adoption of a child or to care for a family member with a serious illness, but New Mexico does not have such a law for private employers. However, New Mexico employers with 50 or more employees are covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Additional information is available.
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Public employers. New Mexico law states that public employees are entitled to take leave in accordance with the federal FMLA. The provisions of the law are virtually the same. Some notable differences:
• Employees are eligible for leave if they have worked in the classified service for at least 12 months (not necessarily consecutive) and who have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months immediately preceding the start of the leave.
• Employees may elect, or may be required, to substitute any of the employee's accrued annual leave, accrued sick leave, or donated leave for any part of FMLA leave. Compensatory time does not count toward the 12 weeks allowed by the FMLA.
• No part of FMLA leave is considered a break in employment, and it will not change the employee's anniversary date.
Employees do not accrue annual and sick leave while on FMLA leave.
The New Mexico Human Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of sex. According to guidelines issued by the state Human Rights Commission, employers must offer employees with pregnancy-related disabilities the same leave privileges as are offered employees with other types of temporary disabilities. The Act covers employers with four or more employees (NM Stat. Sec. 28-1-1et seq.).

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