Workers’ compensation is insurance that benefits employees who suffer injuries or illnesses on the job. It is a mandatory requirement for private businesses in New Mexico with three or more regular employees, regardless of the location of said employees. Here are everything business owners need to know about NM workers’ compensation:
Workers’ compensation refers to a system that benefits employees who suffer injuries or any kind of illnesses while carrying out job responsibilities. New Mexico has a no-fault system for workers’ compensation. Therefore, the injured worker does not have to show that the employer was to blame for their illness or injury.
All employees are covered by workers’ compensation in New Mexico, regardless of their immigration status. However, independent contractors are not considered employees or covered by workers’ compensation.
Note that NM workers compensation also covers employees who work part-time, seasonal, or temporary jobs and minors who work for a business.
Medical Expenses and Lost Time Benefits: Workers’ compensation covers all costs related to the injury or illness. In addition, employees who cannot work due to injury or illness can receive wage replacement benefits.
Disability Payments:Depending on the degree of the disability, an employee may be eligible for disability payments if their illness or injury renders them permanently disabled.
Death Benefits: In cases where the employee passes away, the dependents are eligible for death benefits, including burial expenses and survivor benefits.
All employers must provide NM workers’ compensation insurance purchased from private insurance companies or become self-insured. Note that failure to provide workers’ compensation insurance is a criminal offense in New Mexico, and employers can face fines, injunctions, and other legal consequences.
The workers’ compensation does not cover Injuries that are caused by using drugs, drinking alcohol, fighting, or purposeful self-harm. Also, Illness sustained overtime at work, like back strain from repeated action, that are considered to be “in the course and scope” of the employee’s job are not covered in the compensation.
This agreement is between the insurer, the injured employee, and the employer. Often, the employee receives the agreed-upon compensation as a lump sum payment or a series of installments. Employees agree to forgo future claims related to the closed claim in exchange for this settlement payment.
Injured/ill workers have one year to initiate a lawsuit when the employer’s insurance company begins (or fails to) pay them.
Remember that every business will pay different premiums depending on:
- Location of your company
- Number of employees
- Industry in which your company operates
Understanding NM workers’ compensation can help business owners protect their employees and businesses because it provides a safe work environment. Furthermore, complying with the laws and regulations prevents legal and financial consequences. Protect your business by protecting your workers with workers’ compensation!