New Mexico Religious Discrimination laws & HR compliance analysis

New Mexico Religious Discrimination: What you need to know

The New Mexico Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in employment based on religion (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 or conditions of employment.
• 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 religion, unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ).
• Aid, abet, incite, compel, or coerce any unlawful discriminatory practice.
• Threaten or retaliate against any individual who has made a complaint or assisted in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under the state law.
Harassment. Harassment in the workplace constitutes unlawful discrimination when it creates a hostile work environment. In a case involving racial harassment, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an employee could pursue his harassment claim after he presented sufficient evidence of racial slurs, insults, and graffiti in the workplace to support his claim (Tademy v. Union Pacific Corp., 614 F.3d 1132 (10th Cir. 2008)). According to the court, there was also sufficient evidence that the employer knew of the harassment and failed to take adequate steps to remedy the situation. Despite the fact that the graffiti was left anonymously, the court cited several other cases in which employers had taken reasonable measures to end such harassment, including taking pictures of the graffiti, interviewing employees ...

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