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Last updated on: December 22nd, 2022

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

The Fair Labor Standards Act defines the workweek as a fixed and recurring period of 168 hours comprised of seven consecutive 24-hour periods that do not need to coincide with the calendar week. It is adjustable only if the change is designed to be permanent.

Each week is considered on its own for purposes of calculating overtime. The hours of two or more weeks may not be averaged.

No employee be required to work for more than 16 hours in a 24-hour period, with the exception of firefighters, law enforcement officers, employees who are in a standby position or are working in emergency situations, or farm or ranch hands whose duties require them to work longer hours. NMSA § 50-4-30.

Recording Requirement

Employers are required to maintain accurate records of “hours worked and wages paid to each employee” for at least one year after entry of the record (NMSA § 50-4-9(A)).


Travel Time

New Mexico law requires employers to count an employee’s travel time as hours worked if the travel is part of the employee’s principal activity, including traveling from job site to job site. NM Admin. Code


Under the New Mexico state law, unless an employee is exempt, she or he must be paid overtime wages. Overtime is equal to 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay. If the employee works more than 40 hours a week, they must get wages at the overtime rate.


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, usually of the type lasting less than 20 minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually 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.


Breast Feeding Break

A mother can breastfeed her child in any public or private location where she is otherwise authorized to be. Employers are required to provide a clean, private place, not a bathroom, for employees who are breastfeeding to pump. Employers have to give employees breaks to express milk but does not require that she be paid for this time.

Public Holidays

New Mexico law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave.

Annual Leave

Annual Leaves are unpaid leave based on the agreement between employer and employee (FSLA).

Special Leave

Unpaid Leave
Employees may be eligible to take unpaid, job-protected, leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Please refer to the main United States page for further details on this Federal law.
Military Leave

Employers must allow eligible employees to take leave if they are called to serve on active duty in the U.S. armed forces, National Guard, or Organized Reserves. Employers must reinstate certain employees returning from military leave to their position or a similar position unless employers’ circumstances have changed in ways that make reinstatement impossible or unreasonable.

A member of the United States Armed Forces, National Guard or organized reserve who serves on active duty and is honorably discharged or released from duty must be reinstated to his or her original position (or to a position of like seniority, status and pay). The member must apply for reemployment within 90 days after being relieved from service or hospitalization (unless hospitalization after discharge lasted more than one year).

Upon reemployment, the military member may not lose seniority and is entitled to participate in insurance or other benefits offered by the employer. Returning military members may not be discharged without cause within one year after reemployment.

Jury Duty Leave

New Mexico requires employers to allow employees to take unpaid leave to serve as jurors. Employers cannot discharge employees because they take jury duty leave.

Voting Leave

Employers must allow employees to take two hours of leave to vote while the polls are open on election day unless their workday begins more than two hours after the polls open or ends more than three hours before the polls close. Employers can’t discharge or threaten to discharge employees based on their political opinions or beliefs or their voting intentions.

Domestic Violence Leave

An employer shall grant an employee domestic abuse leave of 14 days without pay without interfering with, restraining, or denying the exercise of rights under the Promoting Financial Independence for Victims of Domestic Abuse Act or attempting to do so.

Emergency Responder Leave

New Mexico requires that employees who are volunteer firefighters, emergency medical responders, part of a search and rescue team, or law enforcement agency not be terminated for being absent from work when responding to a fire, medical, or other emergency calls.

Pregnancy Leave

The New Mexico Human Rights Act covers employers with four or more employees, and, among other things, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex (which includes pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions). Covered employers must treat women affected by a pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions the same as other persons who are temporarily disabled for all employment-related purposes, including the receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs. Employers with 50 or more employees are also subject to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which provides eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12- month period due to childbirth.

Sick Leave

Effective as of June 14, 2019, the Caregiver Leave Act will require employers providing sick leave to allow an eligible employee to use accrued sick leave to care for certain family members (including spouses, domestic partners, or certain other specific family members by blood, marriage, or legal adoption) on the same terms and procedures as the employer allows employees to use accrued sick leave for the eligible employee (2019 N.M. Laws Ch. 177, §§ 1-4).

Donor Leave

State employees are allowed 20 days of paid leave for organ donation, after using their (or donated) leave. §24-28-3.

Disclaimer: The material provided above is for informational purposes only and is subject to change. We endeavor to keep all material up-to-date and correct but make no representations about the information's completeness, accuracy, or reliability. Laws vary by jurisdiction and are subject to change and interpretation based on individual factors that may differ between organizations. The material is not meant to constitute legal advice and we suggest you seek the advice of legal counsel in connection with any of the information presented.