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Payment of Wages: New Mexico

Payment of Wages requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Vicki M. Lambert, The Payroll Advisor


  • The term wages is broadly defined in the New Mexico wage payment law. See Definition of Wages.
  • New Mexico employers may pay employees in cash, by check or direct deposit so long as certain requirements are met. Noncompliance penalties are imposed for violations. See Wage Payment Methods.
  • Employees may be paid semimonthly, up to 16 days apart, but more frequent paydays are permitted. Exempt employees must be paid at least once a month, unless a collective bargaining agreement provides otherwise. Penalties are imposed for violations of the pay frequency rules. See Pay Frequency.
  • New Mexico employers may only make wage deductions required by law or authorized by an employee. Penalties are imposed for noncompliance. See Permitted and Prohibited Wage Deductions.
  • Employers are required to provide employees with written pay statements reflecting certain required information. Employers that fail to do so are subject to penalties. See Pay Statement Requirements.
  • How soon terminated employees must be paid their final compensation depends on whether the termination is voluntary or involuntary. Penalties are imposed for noncompliance. See Final Pay.
  • Under the state Healthy Workplaces Act, employers must comply with certain payroll-related provisions regarding paid sick leave. See Paid Sick Leave.
  • After the death of an employee, an employer may pay wages owed to the employee's surviving spouse. See Deceased Employee Wages.
  • Wages are considered abandoned property if they are unclaimed by an employee for one year. New Mexico law requires employers to use due diligence to locate employees with unclaimed wages. If unsuccessful, they must file a report and remit the amounts to the state. Stiff penalties are imposed for noncompliance. See Unclaimed Wages.