New Mexico's Fair Chance Law
Source: National Employment Law Project
On March 8, 2010, Governor Bill Richardson (D) signed this measure into law adding N.M. Stat. § 28-2-3 to the exist- ing “Criminal Offender Employment Act” (1974). It prohibits state agencies from inquiring into an applicant’s conviction history on an initial employment application until an applicant has been “selected as a finalist.” The law permits convictions to be considered when determining eligibility for public employment or licensure, but convictions “may not operate as an automatic bar.” The law further prohibits the use of records of arrest not leading to conviction and misdemeanor convictions not involving moral turpitude. Introduced by Sen. Clinton D. Harden (R).
Commentary: The bill amended existing law, which permits a conviction that “directly relates” to employment to be the basis for denial. It also includes a provision requiring a written statement to the applicant of the reasons for denial and provides the parameters for a presumption of rehabilitation (§ 28-2-4).