Employment in the state of New Mexico is mostly considered to be "at-will" employment. "At will" means that for any reason, both the employer or the worker may end the work relationship at any point. The only exception to "at-will" employment is that the employment can not be terminated in a manner that breaks the law.
Employment not falling in the "at will" category is subject to different limitations and requirements, so you should be sure to know the classification of your work setup. In general, employment that is subject to a set period employment contract is not considered to be "at will", and termination may only happen in accordance with procedures outlined in the contract.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in New Mexico?
In the state of New Mexico, employee discrimination is the most common illegal ground for termination in an at-will employment. Employers are barred from terminating their employees on the basis of race, gender, religion, or nationality. Santa Fe employers are further barred from firing at-will employees in order to retaliate against them for filing a legal discrimination claim or initiating an investigation of discrimination.
Also, employers are prohibited by the Family and Medical Leave act from firing those employees who take leave in order to address family or medical concerns. Finally, employees are protected from being terminated by their employer for performing a legal obligation, exercising their legal rights, or for refusing to participate in an illegal act.
Do I Need a New Mexico Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
A local Santa Fe, New Mexico attorney can better inform you about whether a wrongful termination has occurred, and will also help in collecting the appropriate documents for your case. There may also be unique procedures that an attorney can shepherd you through.