New Mexico Labor Laws 2024 | Wage and Hour Laws in New Mexico

New Mexico Labor Laws

New Mexico labor laws, including New Mexico labor laws 2024, impact the daily lives of employees and employers in New Mexico. Residents of New Mexico have many questions that affect them every day regarding New Mexico labor laws from minimum wage rates, overtime, wage payments, vacation and sick leave, child labor, meal and rest breaks, and more.

In addition to New Mexico labor laws, employer must also comply with federal labor laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and many other federal laws. And when federal laws are different from state New Mexico labor laws, usually companies must comply with the law that provides their workers the best protection.

Below we provide comprehensive information and resources regarding your more pressing New Mexico labor law questions to help you answer the question and help you make the right decision about you and your employment.

Minimum Wage

New Mexico’s current minimum wage is $11.50.

For more information on New Mexico’s minimum wage laws, visit our New Mexico Minimum Wage Laws page, which includes topics such as minimum wage, tip minimum wage, tip sharing, and pooling, and subminimum wages.

As of 2022, the minimum wage for New Mexico is $11.50 per hour, which is more than what the federal law offers, applicable to most employees. It was in 2008 when the last minimum wage was changed from $6.50 to $11.50, increasing it by $5.00. By January 1, 2023, there will be another minimum wage rate change to make it to $12.

Related topics covered on other pages include:


New Mexico labor laws require an employer to pay overtime to employees, unless otherwise exempt, at the rate of 1½ times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. NM Statute 50-4-22(D) See FLSA: Overtime for information.

The labor laws of New Mexico demand that employers pay all non-exempt employees of overtime fees. All qualified employees who worked beyond the 40-hour workweek should receive overtime pay of $17.25 per hour, which is one and a half times their current minimum wage rate.

Unlike other states, New Mexico doesn’t indicate a daily limit for overtime. The creation of these overtime laws aims to protect the employees fr

Prevailing Wages

Under certain circumstances, employers in New Mexico may be required to pay residents wage rates established by the federal or state prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates may be different from the state’s standard minimum wage rates.

Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on federal or state government or government-funded construction projects or perform certain federal or state government services. See the New Mexico Prevailing Wages, Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) for more information about prevailing wages.

Under the Labor Relations Division, the Department of Workforce Solutions Director determines and establishes the prevailing wage rates. The prevailing wage rates are determined according to the workers’ classification and the information indicated in the CBA or Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Meals and Breaks

New Mexico labor laws do not have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees, thus the federal rule applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal (lunch) period or breaks.

However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks less than 30 minutes must be paid. Meal or lunch periods 30 minutes or more do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period. DOL: Breaks and Meal Periods. NM Depart. of Workforce Solutions – Wage and Hour

Nursing Mother Breaks

New Mexico labor laws require employers to provide employees who are nursing mothers flexible break times to utilize a breast pump at work. Additionally, employers must provide a space for using the breast pump that is:

  • clean and private
  • near the employee’s workspace
  • not a bathroom

Employers are not responsible for:

  • storage or refrigeration of breast milk
  • payment for a nursing mother’s break time in addition to established employee breaks
  • payment of overtime while a nursing mother is using a breast pump

On the other hand, employers do not have an obligation to provide the same benefits to exempt nursing mother employees.

Nevertheless, it is not a bad idea for exempt employees to talk to their employees and explain why they need to have the same privilege. Federal law mandates the coverage of nursing support for most health plans, including counseling and supplies, with no additional cost to the employee.

NM Statute 28-20-2

Vacation Leave

In New Mexico, employers don’t have an obligation to provide vacation benefits to their employees, paid or unpaid.

If an employer wants to offer these benefits to his employees, they must comply with the employment contract and policy terms. Also, all unused vacation leave of an employee must be paid by the employer upon separation from the company.

Information about New Mexico vacation leave laws may now be found on our New Mexico Leave Laws page.

Sick Leave

The Healthy Workplaces Act was signed into law on April 8, 2021, by New Mexico Governor Lujan Grisham. It states that effective July 1, 2022, most employers with one or more employees must give paid sick leave up to 64 hours per year.

These paid leave requirements are for all employers having one or more employees except for the following:

  • Federal government employers
  • Any political or state subdivision of New Mexico
  • Employers accountable to the federal Railway Labor Act or
  • Employees bounded by the Federal Employers Liability Act or the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act

Information about New Mexico sick leave laws may now be found on our New Mexico Leave Laws page.

Holiday Leave

In New Mexico, private employers are not obliged to offer paid or unpaid holiday leave. They can even ask their workers to report for duty during holidays. However, most employers still observe a maximum of six paid holiday leaves.

Also, employers don’t have to offer premium pay if their employees work on a holiday unless it is beyond the regular work hours, then they will receive overtime pay.

Information about New Mexico holiday leave laws may now be found on our New Mexico Leave Laws page.

Jury Duty Leave

In New Mexico, employers must provide their employees with unpaid time off when reporting for jury duties.

Employers don’t have to pay for their employees’ leave of absence while responding to a jury summons. They cannot coerce, discharge, or threaten their employees for performing jury duties.

Additionally, they cannot and should not ask the employees to use any of their paid or unpaid time offs for jury duty purposes.

Information about New Mexico jury duty leave laws may now be found on our New Mexico Leave Laws page.

Voting Leave

Under the New Mexico voting leave, all employers must give their employees two hours of administrative leave to cast their votes.

Generally, polls are open from 7 AM to 7 PM. Employees who start their workday more than two hours after polls open or end more than three hours before polls close don’t have the privilege of administrative leave.

Employers cannot discipline their employees for taking the voting leave, but they can set the time for when the worker can leave to vote.

Information about New Mexico voting leave laws may now be found on our New Mexico Leave Laws page.

Severance Pay

New Mexico labor laws do not require employers to provide employees with severance pay. NM Dept. of Workforce Solutions FAQs. If an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.


Under certain circumstances, New Mexico residents may be eligible for unemployment benefits while they search for another job. You are required to certify that you are unemployed on a weekly basis to receive these benefits.

An unemployed individual must meet some eligibility requirements to receive unemployment benefits. First, you must have worked a minimum number of hours and earned a certain wage. Next, your separation from work should not be your fault. Lastly, you must be willing to work and are currently looking for a new job.

See New Mexico State Unemployment Benefits.

Other New Mexico Labor Laws Topics and Resources

There are several other New Mexico labor laws governing the employers and their workplaces. Below are those topics and resources:

  • New Mexico child labor laws for children 17 years of age and younger including topics including work during school hours and summer hours, school days and non-school days, summer days of employment (usually June 1 to Labor Day), hour restrictions, work permits, and hazardous occupations.
  • The New Mexico Human Rights Bureau enforces the New Mexico Human Rights Act and protects employees workplace civil rights and against discrimination and retaliation. Employees are also protected by federal discrimination laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The state and federal discrimination laws offer employees protections and violations based on the following:
Disability (a mental or physical impairment)Sex, including sexual harassmentGender expressionNational Origin
RaceSexual orientationReligionAncestry
CreedGender identityAge (40+)Pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions
ColorGenetic informationMarital status
  • New Mexico labor laws regarding wage payment laws including covering frequency and manner of wage payments, regular paydays, payday, pay periods, deductions, direct deposit and payroll cards, wage statement, record keeping, final paychecks, and notice requirements.
  • New Mexico labor laws regarding minimum wage and overtime exemptions covering non-exempt employees and exempt employees.
  • New Mexico labor law regarding hours worked including rest breaks, meal breaks, on-call, waiting, travel, sleeping, and meeting times.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) covers federal workplace safety and health requirements.
  • Active duty employees, including those in the national guard, and veterans may also be eligible for military leave under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
  • The New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration manages workers’ compensation in New Mexico and worker compensation insurance claims and enforcement. Employees who are injured on the job may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits that minimizes the financial impact on the employee.
  • Under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, employers in New Mexico are required to provide 60-day advanced notice to any employees that may be impacted by a business closing or mass layoff if 50 or more employees will be impacted.
  • If New Mexico employers provide employees health insurance benefits, they must comply with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) that provides health coverage protections to employees under certain circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, transition between jobs, death, divorce, and other life events.
  • Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, employers must provide applicants and employees prior notice before conducting background checks involving credit reports. Other rules and limitation may also apply.

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