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Vacation, sick leave and mileage New Mexico

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  • Vacation, sick leave and mileage New Mexico

    I know that's quite a mish-mash of topics that aren't completely related, but apparently changes to all three are coming my way in January. In the quick research I've done on New Mexico labor law, my understanding is that companies are under no obligation to offer paid vacation and sick leave. Is that correct? A company can set a policy offering such, but isn't legally required is my understanding so far.

    My employer is cutting our paid vacation and sick leave starting at the beginning of the year to five and three days respectively. It was previously 14 days of vacation and five days of sick leave. I'm assuming a company can set and change it's policy on these matters at any time. (I'm not going to rant about how I've been with them through thick and thin for seven years, and how this is deeply insulting and unfair . . . no, not me . . .)

    So, is this illegal or just extremely crappy? I have a feeling I already know the answer.

    Our mileage reimbursement is changing also. Am I correct that companies don't have to reimburse mileage costs to employees for using their private cars for work? Previously, we were paid per mile and had to turn in logs. Not an issue. Now we will be given a flat amount every two weeks regardless of how many miles we drive. Frankly this may be more beneficial/fair than the old way but I haven't done the math. Again, illegal or crappy corporate bottom line BS?

    I'm sorry if this is more of a rant than an actual question. Frankly I'm feeling a little screwed over right now, but short of finding another job in my failing industry, I'm not sure what recourse I have.

  • #2
    Neither federal nor New Mexico law require employers to provide sick leave or vacation leave. If FMLA applies, the employer is required to provide unpaid leave for serious illness, but that's separate from sick leave. New Mexico law only holds that if an employer establishes a policy it must be consistent with the policy it establishes. That does not mean that the employer cannot change a policy going forward. So, in that regard, what your employer is doing is not illegal. Do I agree with what your employer is doing? No.

    I'll let someone else address the mileage issue.
    Last edited by Marketeer; 11-27-2013, 04:41 AM. Reason: spelling
    I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!


    • #3
      Legally, the company can do what it likes as far as mileage reimbursement. They don't have to reimburse at all. The only question is how it is taxed/exempted. Here is a link to get you started on that. Or, ask your tax advisor for specifics as they relate to you.
      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


      • #4
        I am going to give a slightly different mileage answer. Under federal law (FLSA), overtime and minimum wage obligations must be met "free and clear" of all unreimbursed business expenses. Examples;- Able is paid federal MW of $7.25/hr and is not paid mileage on the commute. Commutes are not considered to be business expenses (with very few legal exceptions), so no big deal. If Able drove what is legally called a "work vehicle" to work at the employer's instruction, say a back hoe or something legally "not generally used for commuting", then and only then do we get around the normal "commuting does not count" rule.- Baker is paid federal MW and is not paid mileage to deliver pizza, which is Baker's job. This is a FLSA violation.- Cable is paid $8/hr, also delivers pizza, and is also not paid mileage to delivery pizza. Say Cable works 40 hours, which means this work week Cable is paid $30 dollars more then MW (40 X $0.75). Which means that unreimbursed business expenses are only an issue to the extent that they eat into MW. Meaning if these are $35 this week, then the FLSA issue is the $5 only in deficit of the MW requirement.To my knowledge, there are exactly two states (CA, MA) that care about non-commute mileage and MA arguably does not care a lot, just more then the feds do.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


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