A. An individual shall be disqualified for and shall not be eligible to receive benefits:
(1) if it is determined by the division that the individual left employment voluntarily without good cause in connection with the employment. No individual shall receive benefits until the division has contacted the former employer and determined whether the individual left the employment voluntarily; provided, however, that a person shall not be denied benefits under this paragraph:
(a) solely on the basis of pregnancy or the termination of pregnancy;
(b) because of domestic abuse evidenced by medical documentation, legal documentation or a sworn statement from the claimant; or
(c) if the person voluntarily left work to relocate because of a spouse, who is in the military service of the United States or the New Mexico national guard, receiving permanent change of station orders, activation orders or unit deployment orders;
(2) if it is determined by the division that the individual has been discharged for misconduct connected with the individual’s employment; or
(3) if it is determined by the division that the individual has failed without good cause either to apply for available, suitable work when so directed or referred by the division or to accept suitable work when offered.
B. In determining whether or not any work is suitable for an individual pursuant to Paragraph (3) of Subsection A of this section, the division shall consider the degree of risk involved to the individual’s health, safety and morals, the individual’s physical fitness, prior training, approved training, experience, prior earnings, length of unemployment and prospects for securing local work in the individual’s customary occupation and the distance of available work from the individual’s residence. Notwithstanding any other provisions of the Unemployment Compensation Law, no work shall be deemed suitable and benefits shall not be denied under the Unemployment Compensation Law to any otherwise eligible individual for refusing to accept new work under any of the following conditions:
(1) if the position offered is vacant due directly to a strike, lockout or other labor dispute;
(2) if the wages, hours or other conditions of the work offered are substantially less favorable to the individual than those prevailing for similar work in the locality; or
(3) if, as a condition of being employed, the individual would be required to join a company union or to resign from or refrain from joining any bona fide labor organizations.
C. An individual shall be disqualified for, and shall not be eligible to receive, benefits for any week with respect to which the division finds that the individual’s unemployment is due to a labor dispute at the factory, establishment or other premises at which the individual is or was last employed; provided that this subsection shall not apply if it is shown to the satisfaction of the division that:
(1) the individual is not participating in or directly interested in the labor dispute; and
(2) the individual does not belong to a grade or class of workers of which, immediately before the commencement of the labor dispute, there were members employed at the premises at which the labor dispute occurs, any of whom are participating in or directly interested in the dispute; provided that if in any case separate branches of work that are commonly conducted in separate businesses in separate premises are conducted in separate departments of the same premises, each such department shall, for the purposes of this subsection, be deemed to be a separate factory, establishment or other premises.
D. An individual shall be disqualified for, and shall not be eligible to receive, benefits for any week with respect to which, or a part of which, the individual has received or is seeking, through any agency other than the division, unemployment benefits under an unemployment compensation law of another state or of the United States; provided that if the appropriate agency of such other state or of the United States finally determines that the individual is not entitled to such unemployment benefits, this disqualification shall not apply.
E. A disqualification pursuant to Paragraph (1) or (2) of Subsection A of this section shall continue for the duration of the individual’s unemployment and until the individual has earned wages in bona fide employment other than self-employment, as provided by rule of the secretary, in an amount equivalent to five times the individual’s weekly benefit otherwise payable. A disqualification pursuant to Paragraph (3) of Subsection A of this section shall include the week the failure occurred and shall continue for the duration of the individual’s unemployment and until the individual has earned wages in bona fide employment other than self-employment, as provided by rule of the secretary, in an amount equivalent to five times the individual’s weekly benefit amount otherwise payable; provided that no more than one such disqualification shall be imposed upon an individual for failure to apply for or accept the same position, or a similar position, with the same employer, except upon a determination by the division of disqualification pursuant to Subsection C of this section.
F. As used in this section:
(1) “domestic abuse” means that term as defined in Section 40-13-2 NMSA 1978; and
(2) “employment” means employment by the individual’s last employer as defined by rules of the secretary.
History: Laws 1936 (S.S.), ch. 1, § 5; 1939, ch. 175, § 3; 1941 Comp., § 57-805; Laws 1941, ch. 205, § 3; 1943, ch. 103, § 3; 1953 Comp., § 59-9-5; Laws 1953, ch. 121, § 3; 1975, ch. 351, § 1; 1977, ch. 321, § 3; 1979, ch. 280, § 14; 1981, ch. 354, § 3; 1983, ch. 199, § 3; 1991, ch. 122, § 4; 2003, ch. 47, § 3; 2003, ch. 47, § 10; 2005, ch. 3, § 3; 2005, ch. 255, § 1; 2011, ch. 184, § 3.