NMSU Settles Class Action Lawsuit Over Family Leave

LAS CRUCES, N.M. ― New Mexico State University has agreed to pay more than $700,000 to settle a lawsuit accusing the university of denying or discouraging faculty members from taking time off for family leave.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that about 50 current or former nine-month faculty members who had a newborn, adopted a child or had a foster child placed with them qualify for the settlement.

According to the class-action lawsuit, faculty members say they were discouraged from taking or denied leave which violates federal laws guaranteeing eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave.

University officials say a paid leave benefit for faculty was in the works before the lawsuit, but the suit prompted them to roll out the policy change ahead of schedule.