Q: I applied at a restaurant a few weeks back. My partner works there too. The owner told my partner that he wasn't
going to hire me because he works there also. Pretty much he doesn't hire couples. But, the same guy hired a husband and wife couple, they work the same shifts. He also hired a BF/GF couple. Now, both of those couples are Indonesian. The owner himself is Chinese. I am Native as is my partner. Does this have any legal support, or does it fall unto the owners preference for hire?
A: In certain situations, New Mexico Human Rights Act ("NMHRA"), NMSA § 28-1-1 et seq., requires an employer to consider an applicant for a position regardless of "spousal affiliation" or sexual orientation. In addition, if the employer retains some employees and terminates others based on their "couple" status, there may be a question of whether the employer is applying this standard in a discriminatory way.
This is not legal advice to you, but a general idea of the law. Whether and how it applies to you would depend on the details of your employment.
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