Why Paid Sick Leave Is Good for New Mexico
Summary: This legislation would create mandatory paid sick leave for all New Mexico employees, including those working on a part-time, seasonal, or temporary basis. One hour of paid sick leave would accrue for every 30 hours works. Sick leave can be used for one’s own medical needs, to care for a sick family member, when one’s place of business or child’s school closes for public health reasons, during a public health emergency, or to deal with domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking. The definition of “family member” is broad and reflects the diversity of caregiving relationships. The legislation would have no effect on employers who already provide more generous sick leave policies.
Why This Legislation Is Good for NM
- All businesses will benefit from improved retention and improved productivity.
- Workers who are sick are more likely to go to work if they do not have paid leave.
- When employees come to work sick, they are less productive and risk spreading illnesses to co-workers or the public. Workers in jobs with public contact such as health care, restaurants, and retail are unlikely to have sick leave, so are at increased risk of passing illness to co-workers and customers. This is especially important during the current COVID pandemic.
- One study showed a decrease in flu rates of 5 to 6.5% after paid sick leave laws took effect.
- Paid sick leave reduces recovery time from illness, enables people to obtain preventive medical care, enables parents to care for sick children instead of sending them to school, and enables survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault, harassment, and stalking to get away from abusers.
- Studies show that paid sick leave laws increase economic growth.
- An August 2020 online poll of New Mexico voters by Change Research found that 73% support statewide paid sick leave.
- The same Change Research poll found that 75% of New Mexicans believe the government has a responsibility to guarantee that employers treat employees fairly and meet certain standards for protecting employee health in the workplace.
- New Jersey research found that paid leave protections generated higher morale and productivity, and businesses that offer paid leave experienced significantly lower turnover.
- New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty
- Olé New Mexico
- Working Families Party of New Mexico