SENATE BILL 483
53rd legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2017
William F. Burt
RELATING TO LABOR; ENACTING THE EMPLOYEE PREFERENCE ACT; PROVIDING FOR ENFORCEMENT OF AND PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION OF THE EMPLOYEE PREFERENCE ACT; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. [NEW MATERIAL] SHORT TITLE.--This act may be cited as the "Employee Preference Act".
SECTION 2. [NEW MATERIAL] PUBLIC POLICY.--It is the public policy of New Mexico that all persons employed in the private sector shall have, and shall be protected in the exercise of, the right to form, join or assist labor organizations or to refrain from those activities, freely and without fear of penalty or reprisal.
SECTION 3. [NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Employee Preference Act:
A. "employer" means a person that hires employees but does not mean or the state, a political subdivision of the state that includes, among other subdivisions, a municipality that has adopted a home rule charter, school districts and post-secondary public educational institutions that include, among other institutions, state educational institutions pursuant to Article 12, Section 11 of the constitution of New Mexico; and
B. "labor organization" means a union, organization, agency or employee representation committee that exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning wages, rates of pay, hours of work or other conditions of employment.
SECTION 4. [NEW MATERIAL] MANDATORY MEMBERSHIP AND FEES PROHIBITED.--A person shall not be required by an employer, as a condition of hiring, promotion or continued employment, to:
A. become or remain a member of a labor organization; or
B. pay dues, fees, assessments or other charges to a labor organization or to a charity or other third party, in lieu of payment to a labor organization.
SECTION 5. [NEW MATERIAL] ORGANIZATION APPROVAL PROHIBITED.--An employer shall not require a person to be recommended or approved by or to be cleared through a labor organization as a condition of hiring, promotion or continued employment.
SECTION 6. [NEW MATERIAL] CERTAIN AGREEMENTS ILLEGAL.--An agreement, understanding or practice, written or oral, implied or expressed, between an employer and a labor organization that is in violation of the Employee Preference Act is unlawful and is void.
SECTION 7. [NEW MATERIAL] INVESTIGATION.--The attorney general and district attorneys shall investigate complaints of violations of the Employee Preference Act and shall prosecute a person suspected of violating that act.
SECTION 8. [NEW MATERIAL] ENFORCEMENT.--If, as a result of investigation, the attorney general or a district attorney has good cause to believe that a person is violating or will violate a provision of the Employee Preference Act, the attorney general or district attorney may bring an action for injunctive or other appropriate relief in the district court for the county in which the violation is occurring or will occur or in the district court for Santa Fe county.
SECTION 9. [NEW MATERIAL] PENALTY.--A person who violates a provision of the Employee Preference Act is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by imprisonment for a definite term not to exceed ninety days or both.
SECTION 10. [NEW MATERIAL] REMEDIES.--
A. A person injured or threatened with injury as a result of a violation or threatened violation of the provisions of the Employee Preference Act shall be entitled to injunctive relief against any and all violators or persons threatening the violation.
B. A person injured as a result of a violation or threatened violation of the provisions of the Employee Preference Act may recover any and all damages, including costs and reasonable attorney fees, of any character resulting from the violation or threatened violation.
C. Remedies pursuant to this section shall be independent of and in addition to any other penalty or remedy prescribed in the Employee Preference Act.
SECTION 11. [NEW MATERIAL] EXCEPTIONS.--The provisions of the Employee Preference Act shall not apply to employers and employees covered by the federal Railway Labor Act; federal employers and employees; or where they would otherwise conflict with, or be preempted by, federal law.
SECTION 12. [NEW MATERIAL] SEVERABILITY.--If any part or application of the Employee Preference Act is held invalid, the remainder or its application to other situations and persons shall not be affected.
SECTION 13. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2017.
- 4 -