It’s important to stay up to date on all of the employment laws in your state so that you can maintain compliance in your business. We did some of the hard work for you and put some of the most important New Mexico statutes in one place so you can either learn them for the first time or give yourself a refresher. 

However, remember that our summary is not qualified legal advice, laws are always subject to change, and they can vary from municipality to municipality. 

It’s up to you to make sure you’re compliant with all laws and statutes in your area. Consult with a qualified lawyer and/or your local government agencies if you have questions or concerns. 

Here are a few New Mexico labor laws every small business owner should know.


First, here are a few helpful links and resources for you to bookmark and refer back to:


  • Sick Days: Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid sick leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one.
  • Medical Leave: Employers may be required to provide an employee unpaid medical leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.
  • Vacation Leave: Employers are not required to provide vacation leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one. 
  • Jury Duty: Employers do not have to pay employees for time spent responding to a jury summons, but employees cannot be terminated or otherwise penalized for doing so. 
    • Employees also cannot be required to use vacation or sick leave for time spent responding to a jury summons. 
  • Holiday Leave: Private employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid time off for holidays. 
  • Voting Leave: Employees whose workday begins within 2 hours of the polls opening and ends less than 3 hours before polls close are to be given up to 2 hours of paid leave to vote. 
  • Bereavement Leave: Employers are not required to provide bereavement leave. 

Final Paycheck

  • Employers have 5 days to pay all due wages to employees who are fired or laid off if the wages are a fixed amount. If they are based on a task or commission or other method of calculation, they have 10 days to pay the wages. 
  • If an employee quits or leaves as a result of a labor dispute, the employer has until the next regularly scheduled payday to pay all due wages. 

Minimum Wage

  • The current minimum wage in New Mexico is $7.50.
  • The minimum wage in Albuquerque is $8.60, but $7.60 if the employer provides healthcare and/or childcare benefits. 
  • The Santa Fe minimum wage is $10.66. 

Tipped Wages

  • The minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13. 
  • Employees are allowed to participate in tip pooling or sharing arrangements, but New Mexico law does not address whether employers may require employees to do so. 

Child Labor

  • Minors 14 and 15 years of age are limited to the following hours:
    • Non-school hours
    • 3 hours on a school day
    • 18 hours in a school week
    • 8 hours on a non-school day
    • 40 hours in a non-school week
    • Between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., except from June 1 through Labor Day, when the hours extend to 9 p.m.
  • There are no time restrictions for minors 16 years of age and older. 

Meal and Rest Breaks, Overtime

  • Employers are required to pay employees an overtime rate of 1 ½ time their regular pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek, unless otherwise exempt. 
  • There are no state laws regarding breaks or meal periods, so federal law applies. The federal law does not require employers to provide breaks, but if they choose to do so, breaks less than 20 minutes must be paid. Meal periods do not need to be paid as long as the employees are free to do as they wish.  

Employment Discrimination

  • The New Mexico Human Rights Act makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, age, physical or mental handicap, spousal affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity or serious medical condition. 
  • Click here to read our blog on what acceptable and unacceptable questions to ask during an interview.       


New Mexico is an employment-at-will state, which means that without a written employee contract, employees can be terminated for any reason at any time, provided that the reason is not discriminatory and that the employer is not retaliating against the employee for a rightful action. 

Shift Scheduling

There are currently no laws regarding shift scheduling in New Mexico.

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