NEW MEXICO EMPLOYMENT LAW
Employment law in New Mexico encompasses a variety of matters involved in the employer-employee relationship, including, but not limited to, discrimination at the workplace, sexual harassment, wages and hours, health and safety, wrongful termination, disability law, and hiring and termination practices. Employment law is also commonly referred to as labor law.
Sexual harassment, discrimination and wrongful termination are just a few of the complicated employment law issues that should not be handled without the aid of a New Mexico employment lawyer. If you have questions about a potential employment claim an employment attorney can also be of invaluable assistance.
Why Hire A New Mexico Employment Attorney?
Federal and state laws interact to form the basis of New Mexico employment law. This relationship should be researched to make sure you have the best possible chance of receiving a positive outcome in your case. A New Mexico employment lawyer can help you explore this connection, fight against your wrongful termination, formulate and argue your claim for employment discrimination, file a claim for wages owed, and assist you in determining whether you should file an employment-related claim.
In particular, wrongful termination claims can be challenging for a former employee, and a New Mexico wrongful termination attorney can help you communicate and deal with your former employer and fight against your wrongful termination. Additionally, a New Mexico employment lawyer can assist you in filing a complaint with the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, and can clarify your benefits and rights under New Mexico employment law.
Wrongful Termination in New Mexico
New Mexico employment is "at will." This means that a worker may leave his or her job whenever he or she wishes, and likewise, his or her employer may fire the worker at any time and for any reason, so long as the reason is not illegal. However, if the worker has an employment contract, he or she may not be terminated unless the reason is stated in the contract.
In New Mexico, it is against the law for an employer to fire a worker for:
If an employer terminates an employee for any of the above mentioned reasons, the worker's termination is considered wrongful termination, and the worker should seek advice from a New Mexico employment attorney and discuss his options for recovery.
Federal and state laws forbid firing an employee for a discriminatory reason and define such a termination as wrongful termination. For instance, if a person is otherwise qualified for a job, but is fired because he is disabled or because of his age (over 40 years old), his termination may be considered wrongful termination. If pregnancy is seen by the employer as a disability, a worker cannot be fired because she is pregnant. Similarly, an employee terminated on the basis of his sex, race, national origin, or religion also has a case for wrongful termination.
If you have been fired for any of the reasons mentioned above, you should speak to a New Mexico employment attorney about structuring and filing a wrongful termination complaint.
Employee Wage/Hour Concerns in New Mexico
The minimum wage in New Mexico has been $7.50 an hour since January 1, 2009, which is higher than the federal minimum wage. All New Mexico employees must be paid at least this amount. Employees in New Mexico must be paid at least semi-monthly.
Discuss your options for filing a "Wage Claim Form" with the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions if you employer does not pay you the correct amount, when he is supposed to do so.
The overtime rate must be paid to workers who work more than 40 hours per week. Federal law in the Fair Labor Standards Act provides that overtime wages are time-and-a-half the employee's normal hourly working wage. This provision is enforced by the United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division. Claims for overtime pay must be filed with the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions. Contact an employment attorney to discuss filing a claim for unpaid overtime.
Questions about unpaid wages or overtime should be discussed with a New Mexico employment lawyer.
New Mexico Employment Benefits
New Mexico employers may provide benefits to their workers (i.e.-health insurance, paid vacation days, life insurance, and/or sick days) but are not required to do so under New Mexico employment law. New Mexico employers are also not required to provide meal or rest breaks, short term disability leave, or paid maternity leave. However, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) mandates that mothers be given at least 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave.
New Mexico disability law provides that workers injured at their worksites or who develop occupational illnesses may be compensated in an amount that varies by the type of injury suffered. New Mexico disability law does not, however, require that employers provide workers whose injuries or illnesses are not caused by their jobs short term disability benefits. If you have been injured at work, or have developed an occupational disease, you should discuss your condition with a New Mexico workers' compensation attorney.
New Mexico Employment and Labor Law Statutes
New Mexico Statutes - Employment Law