HB 6 & SB 3 - Paid Family Medical Leave Act
Reps Chandler, Serrato,
and Senator Stewart
Why VMFC supports
HB 6 and SB 3
New Mexico has 4 military bases, 22,106 military members and 21,053 accompanying family members.
It is also home to 142,000 veterans. Many of these military family members and veterans work.
PFML is recognized as an important benefit and many states are creating and funding programs to attract skilled and professional workers. When given a choice of duty stations, a married service member with a working spouse is likely to choose a state with PFML
These bills acknowledge the necessity of giving military working spouses paid time off to tend to critical family matters when their military spouse is deployed.
HB 6 and SB 3 are companion bills that create a fund and administrative structure for the paid family and medical leave act. It would allow employees to take paid leave for medical issues, for family member caretaking, and for exigency leave. Exigency leave can be taken to attend to issues related to a family member’s military deployment or national guard activation.
13 states and D.C. have mandatory paid family leave and 9 others have voluntary systems that provide paid family leave through private insurance. 12 of these states provide up to 12 weeks of leave depending on the reason for needing leave. Currently, New Mexico is one of the 28 states that does not provide any paid family leave.
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees some employees access to unpaid, job-protected parental, family caregiver, personal medical, and military exigency leave.
Paid Family Medical Leave programs are a benefit to both employees and employers. Employees are attracted to work in a state that provides such a benefit. Employers benefit from having a program their employees have access to without paying much of the cost. Since the employer is not paying the employee’s wages while they are taking PFML, the employer has that money available to pay for temporary help or over-time to another employee during the absence of the employee taking leave.
This bill includes qualifying exigency leave for a family member when their active duty military sponsor receives orders for a deployment out of state/overseas or when a National Guard member or reservist has been activated for duty.