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NM Earns D- for Family-Friendly Policies

In a state-by-state analysis, New Mexico got a D- for its workplace policies when it comes to women and families. (iStockphoto)
In a state-by-state analysis, New Mexico got a D- for its workplace policies when it comes to women and families. (iStockphoto)
August 8, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- When it comes to providing workplace policies that support workers with families, New Mexico ranked close to the bottom.

The National Partnership for Women and Families gave New Mexico a "D-" in a recent survey because the state has no workplace requirements beyond the federal Family and Medical Leave Act guaranteeing job protection or leave for new or expecting parents. Sarah Fleisch Fink, director of workplace policy and senior counsel with the National Partnership for Women and Families, said supportive policies can go a long way in predicting success in the lives of children.

"We know that new children coming into the world thrive when parents can take time off after the birth or adoption of that child to bond and to provide the important care that kids need," Fink said, "for women to get important prenatal and postnatal care that they need; for fathers to be able to bond and spend time with new children."

In addition to New Mexico, the report pointed to 26 other states that have done little or nothing to require benefits such as paid family and medical leave, paid sick leave or accommodations for pregnant or nursing women. California is the only state to earn an "A."

Fink said the poor support in so many states indicated a need for national change.

"This patchwork of laws state-by-state is not providing what expecting and new parents need," she said. "And so what we also think needs to happen, in addition to state progress, is federal-level change."

One provision that kept New Mexico from receiving an "F" was the state's requirement that employers provide nursing mothers with break time to express breast milk in a room other than a bathroom. Fourteen other states also earned a "D" grade, while 12 states received an "F" for failing to enact a single workplace policy to help expecting or new parents.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - NM