New Mexico Employment Law Update — May 2019

New Mexico

E-Cigarettes

On April 2, 2019, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation (H.B. 256) amending the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act to include e-cigarettes in the smoking prohibitions. Under the law, an e-cigarette is a product with nicotine, or another substance, intended for human consumption that can be used by inhaling vapor or aerosol from it. It also includes an e-cigar, e-pipe, e-hookah, or vape pen. The law also expanded the scope of the definitions of secondhand smoke and smoking as follows:

  • Secondhand smoke is smoke emitted from inhaling from, exhaling from, burning, carrying, or holding:
    • A lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, hookah, or pipe;
    • Any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation, including cannabis, whether natural or synthetic; or
    • The aerosol or vapor emitted from inhaling or exhaling or any other use of an e-cigarette.
  • Smoking is inhaling from, exhaling from, burning, carrying, or holding:
    • A lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, hookah, or pipe;
    • Any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation, including cannabis, whether natural or synthetic; or
    • Any use of an e-cigarette that creates an aerosol or vapor.

The amendments also expand where smoking is banned and coverage of the law to apply to employers with one or more employees.

The law is effective June 14, 2019.

Read NM H.B. 256

Gender-Free Restroom Act

On March 28, 2019, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation (H.B. 388) enacting the Gender-Free Restroom Act. Under the act, a single-user toilet facility (with an outer door that can be locked by the occupant) that exists or is constructed on or after July 1, 2019 in a public accommodation must be:

  • Made available to any person regardless of gender identity or sex;
  • Designated for use by not more than one occupant at a time or for family or assisted use; and
  • Identified with gender-neutral signage that indicates a restroom without preference or distinction to a specific gender identity or sex.

The act does not require construction of a new, single-user toilet facility if one does not exist in a public accommodation. A public accommodation is any establishment that provides or offers its services, facilities, accommodations, or goods to the public; however, it is not a bona fide private club, place, or establishment that is by its nature and use distinctly private.

The law is effective July 1, 2019.

Read NM H.B. 388

Union Membership as a Condition of Employment

On March 27, 2019, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation (H.B. 85) to allow the state to exercise the limited authority reserved to the states under § 14(b) of the federal National Labor Relations Act. Subsequently, an employer or labor organization anywhere in New Mexico may execute and apply an agreement requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment to the full extent allowed by federal law.

Additionally, the state has exclusive jurisdiction to prohibit the negotiation, execution, or application of agreements requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment in New Mexico. This means that a city, county, home rule municipality, or other political subdivision of the state may not adopt nor continue in effect any ordinance, rule, regulation, resolution, or statute that prohibits the negotiation, execution, or application of agreements requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment in New Mexico.

The law is effective June 14, 2019.

Read NM H.B. 85