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Paid Leave Could Grow Our Workforce

S. Baxter Clinton

The Senate passed the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act through their Chamber with a vote of 25-15.

Bill sponsor Senator Mimi Stewart presented Senate Bill 3.

“Senate Bill 3 sets up the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act, it will be administered by the Workforce Solutions Department, it will be funded through employee and employer contributions, and it will be available to workers who need to take time-away from the workplace for specific causes of leave.”

The contribution to the program would be $5 per $1000 earned for employees and 4$ per $1000 dollars earned for Employers.

Small businesses with 5 or less employees will not have to contribute to this program which accounts for two thirds of New Mexican businesses, those employees would still contribute.

The paid leave would be unable to be claimed unless proper documentation from medical professionals is provided to the Workforce Solution Department.

Senator Stewart said this could reduce turnover cost for employers and add to the New Mexican workforce.

“They reduce turnover cost, replacing an employee because now they just leave. They leave and they leave the workforce. 47% of the women in this state are not in the workforce in part because we don't have paid family medical leave. The US Department of Labor, their Women's Bureau estimate that 47,000 would be in the workforce if we had Paid Family and Medical Leave.”

14 other states have similar legislation and this has been an example of how action like this increases the workforce participation.

Shantar Baxter Clinton is the hourly News Reporter for KSFR. He’s earned an Associates of the Arts from Bard College at Simons Rock and a Bachelors in journalism with a minor in anthropology from the University of Maine.