On March 6, 2020, the Governor of New Mexico passed House Bill 25 amending the New Mexico Human Rights Act. The amendment adds protections for pregnant workers, including the right to a reasonable accommodation. The law goes into effect May 20, 2020.
The law requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for an employee or job applicant with a need arising from pregnancy, childbirth or condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. Reasonable accommodation is defined as: a modification or adaptation of the work environment, work schedule, work rules or job responsibilities, and reached through good faith efforts to explore less restrictive or less expensive alternatives to enable an employee to perform the essential functions of the job and that does not impose an undue hardship on the employer.
While the law does not specifically mandate a leave of absence, it does indicate that a change to a work schedule may be required, which could include intermittent or reduced schedule leave. While leave may be agreed upon by the parties, an employer cannot require an employee to take paid or unpaid leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided.
The ability to handle workplace accommodations to comply with this new law and other pregnancy or disability accommodation laws is available through FINEOS Absence’s accommodation functionality.
The new FINEOS Absence Datasheet is now available for download here.