New Mexico National Origin Discrimination laws & HR compliance analysis

New Mexico National Origin Discrimination: What you need to know

The New Mexico Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in employment based on national origin or ancestry (NM Stat. Sec. 28-1-1 et seq.). The Act applies to employers with four or more employees. Under the state law, it is unlawful for an employer to:
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• Refuse to hire, discharge, promote or demote, or otherwise discriminate with respect to an individual's compensation or terms and conditions of employment.
• Refuse to admit or employ any person in an apprenticeship, training, or retraining program on the basis of national origin.
• Publish an advertisement for employment or use any form of application for employment or make any inquiry regarding prospective employment indicating a preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on national origin.
• Aid, abet, incite, compel, or coerce any unlawful discriminatory practice.
• Threaten or retaliate against any individual who has opposed any unlawful discrimination, made a complaint, or testified or participated in any proceeding under the Act.
• Intentionally obstruct or prevent any person from complying with the Act, or to impede or interfere with the Human Rights Commission or any of its staff or representatives.
There is additional information about English-language-only policies, employer liability for harassment by supervisors, and discrimination on the basis of citizenship.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a supervisor's remarks about speaking "American" made contemporaneously with a warning and termination decision can constitute evidence of discriminatory intent (Avila v. Jostens, Inc., 316 Fed. Appx. 826 (10th Cir. 2009)). In this case, the employee's native language was Spanish, and he had a limited understanding of ...

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