What is the Bernalillo County, New Mexico Employee Wellness Act?
The Bernalillo County, New Mexico Employee Wellness Act Poster describes the paid leave provisions of County Ordinance 2019-32, known as the Employee Wellness Act, or simply the “Paid Time Off” ordinance. Under the ordinance, employees accrue paid leave to be used for purposes such as sick time, family leave, or vacation. The ordinance was originally scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2020 but was postponed until October 1, 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency.
How much Paid Time Off do employees accrue?
- From October 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, employers are required to provide employees up to 28 hours of paid time off. After July 1, 2021, the amount of leave depends on the number of employees of the business:
- July 1, 2021 – 28 hrs (2-10 employees), 44 hrs (11+ employees)
- July 1, 2022 – 28 hrs (2-10 employees), 44 hrs (11-34 employees), 56 hrs (35+ employees)
- An employee accrues one hour of paid time off for every 32 hours worked.
- Accrual of paid time off begins on the employee’s date of employment or the effective date of the ordinance (10/1/2020) if the employee is already employed.
When can employees use Paid Time Off?
- An employee may begin using their PTO on the 90th calendar day following either their date of employment or the effective date of the ordinance if they were already employed.
- Employers should inform employees how to make a request for paid time off (written, verbal, electronic, or by other means) at the time of employment or the effective date of the ordinance if the employee is already employed.
- An employee can use the PTO for any reason or purpose.
- An employer must keep records each pay period of the amount of leave the employee has accrued and has available for use.
- An employer’s paid time off policy may provide greater limits on use and accrual.
Who is covered by the Employee Wellness Act?
- The law applies to businesses licensed and operating within the unincorporated limits of Bernalillo County with 2 or more employees. Newly registered businesses within the unincorporated limits of the County are exempt for the first 12 months of business operations. Employees of these businesses begin accruing paid time off after the end of the 12-month period.
- Employees who work for a covered employer for at least 56 hours in a year are covered by the Act.
- The Act does not apply to independent contractors.
Who must post the Bernalillo County Employee Wellness Act Poster?
Covered businesses are required to inform employees of the pertinent provisions of the Act by displaying the Bernalillo County Employee Wellness Act Poster in a conspicuous place, accessible to employees, at the employer’s place of business, in both English and Spanish.