New Mexico News & Analysis

  • Vague threat to spill the beans not protected by NM whistleblower law

    An Albuquerque teacher told his boss, the director of the charter school where he worked, that "he was going to tell the [school's] board the things that [he knew]." The board fired him before he had an opportunity to spill what he knew. The teacher filed a state court lawsuit under the New Mexico Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA). On appeal, the New Mexico Court of Appeals found the teacher's vague, cryptic comments didn't amount to the kind of whistleblowing the Act protected. Ultimately, the firing was upheld, and the school's governing board never did hear what the teacher knew.

  • New Mexico passes Gender-Free Bathroom Act, other laws affecting employers

    The New Mexico Legislature's 2019 session resulted in several new laws affecting the workplace. As the laws go into effect, it's important for you to be aware of them and get your organization into compliance.

  • DOL updates opinion on independent contractors for the gig economy

    Under the Trump administration, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has taken a decidedly industry-friendly approach to the independent contractor analysis. If there was any doubt before, that was made clear by its recent issuance of a whopping 10-page opinion letter examining the nature of the relationship between a virtual marketplace company (think Uber) and the "gig" workers they employ (e.g., Uber drivers).

  • Supreme Court ruling raises stakes in Title VII claims

    If an employee files a timely Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charge, can she later raise new discrimination allegations after the filing deadline has passed? That's the issue addressed in a new decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. Spoiler alert: The answer is no, unless the employer—or more accurately, its attorney—doesn't notice. To understand the Court's ruling, it's helpful to understand the EEOC's role in discrimination claims.

  • Feeling stressed? Take it outside

    We all need a breath of fresh air sometimes. With summer here, we should be able to find plenty of ways to get away from our desks—even just for a break. And New Mexico's natural beauty can be a perfect cure for employees' work-related stress. This article addresses the unwanted consequences of work stress and the benefits of encouraging employees to spend time outside.

  • FLSA relaxes rules for minors working in family business

    Q What is the law regarding hiring a minor who is the child of the company owner? Also, is there Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) guidance on hiring minors who are the owner's children?

  • Agency Action

    NLRB reveals rulemaking plans. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in May announced its rulemaking priorities, which include proceeding with its rulemaking on a standard for joint employment. The Board's agenda also includes plans for rulemaking in the following areas: representation-case procedures; standards for blocking charges, voluntary recognition, and the formation of bargaining relationships in the construction industry; the standard for determining whether students who perform services at private colleges or universities in connection with their studies should be considered employees; and standards for access to an employer's private property.

  • Workplace Trends

    Think you've made a hire? Maybe not. A survey from staffing firm Robert Half shows that more than a quarter of workers (28%) have backed out of a job offer after accepting the position. Why would a jobseeker do that? The survey says 44% of those changing their minds backed out after receiving a better offer from another company. For 27%, a counteroffer from their current employer led to the change of heart. In 19% of the cases, the jobseeker reported hearing bad things about the company after receiving the offer. The cities where jobseekers are more likely to renege are San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Austin, and Miami.

  • 'Ban the box' now applies to private-sector employers in New Mexico

    Since 2010, New Mexico state agencies have been prohibited from inquiring about job applicants' criminal convictions until they are selected as finalists for the position. The law didn't apply to private-sector employers, but that is about to change. Effective June 14, 2019, private-sector employers are prohibited from initially inquiring about potential employees' criminal arrest records as well as subsequent criminal proceedings such as convictions, jail, or prison time. The new law, called the Criminal Offender Employment Act, was passed during the 2019 legislative session after several amendments and much debate.

  • EEOC rejects 'boys will be boys' excuse for same-sex harassment on construction site

    Atlas Electrical Construction, Inc., a New Mexico electrical contracting company, has agreed to pay $195,000 to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Let's take a closer look at the case.