Quick Guide to New Mexico’s Labor Laws on Breaks and Meal Periods
New Mexico Labor Laws: Breaks
NM labor laws on breaks are few in number and do not state that an employer needs to give breaks to a person 18 years or older. There are certain provisions for mothers that are breastfeeding under NM labor laws for breaks and under federal law as well, and there are federal laws for labor unions and those practicing in certain occupations. Some NM labor laws on breaks are discussed in this article.
You can find more information about New Mexico labor laws on breaks under the state’s legislature or under the state’s Department of Workplace Solutions.
Specific NM Labor Laws on Breaks: Breaks for Breastfeeding Mothers
Laws that directly address a mother’s right to expressing breast milk in the workplace are not covered by New Mexico’s labor laws on breaks, but instead within the Human Rights chapter. Specifically, §28-20-2 of New Mexico’s labor laws on breaks states that employers needs to provide a clean, private place (other than a bathroom) for new mothers that need to express breast milk.
The section relating to New Mexico’s labor laws on breaks also states an employer is required to give the new mother breaks. Yet, the employer is not liable for refrigeration for the milk, nor is the employer required to pay the mother during the breaks if they are apart from other breaks scheduled for all employees according to New Mexico’s labor laws on breaks.
Does my employer have to provide holidays, vacation, or sick time under NM Labor Laws (Breaks)?
New Mexico labor laws on breaks state that an employer is not entitled to provide the employee with vacation time, holidays, or even sick pay. Many employers will disregard NM labor laws on breaks and provide employers with such benefits to improve the efficiency within the workplace however. An employee has the right to enter into bargaining agreements with an employer according to New Mexico’s labor laws on breaks as well.
Child Labor and New Mexico Labor Laws for Breaks
New Mexico’s labor laws on breaks listed above do not necessarily apply to a minor under the age of 16. Minors 16 or older operate under the same New Mexico labor laws as workers 18 or older, except that minors 16 or older may not work in certain hazardous professions.
According to NM labor laws on breaks under the state’s Department of Workforce Solutions, the following conditions apply to minors between the age of 14 and 15:
• no working during school hours in any cases
• no working before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. or to 9 p.m. between June 1 and Labor Day
• no working more than 3 hours on school day
• more than 18 hours during a school week
Overtime rules do not apply minors under the age of 16 because New Mexico labor laws for breaks state such a minor cannot work more than 40 hours in a week.
If an employer disregards New Mexico’s labor laws in breaks for minors or any other person obligated to take breaks, there may heavy fines and penalties for such violations. If a minor is engaged in certain professions like agriculture on a family farm, some NM labor laws on breaks may not apply.