New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Basics #1: Does your employer have workers’ compensation insurance?

It’s been awhile since I wrote about the basics of New Mexico workers’ compensation. This is especially important now that businesses are reopening after the COVID-19 shut down.

I’ll do a new posting every few days on workers’ compensation basics.

The first thing all workers should do is to check that their employer has workers’ compensation insurance. If your applying for a new job, you should check that the prospective employer has workers’ compensation insurance.

You must know if there is workers’ compensation that will provide money benefits and medical benefits to you BEFORE you are hurt at work.

The law requires workers’ compensation insurance for all employers with three or more workers. All construction and building trades companies are required to have workers’ compensation insurance even if there is only one employee.

It’s easy to confirm if an employer has workers’ compensation insurance.

You can ask your employer, but it could cause problems, especially if there is no workers’ compensation insurance.

The New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration has a page to check for coverage.

It is https://workerscomp.nm.gov/WCA-eServices.  There is a link on that page that will take you to another page to start the process. You will need the employer’s name and the date for when you want to check for workers’ compensation insurance.

If there is workers’ compensation insurance then you should be covered if you are injured at work. You should periodically check to make sure the workers’ compensation insurance is still in place.

If there is no workers’ compensation insurance then you have a more difficult situation. If you feel comfortable with your employer, you can talk to your supervisor about the lack of workers’ compensation insurance, and ask that the employer get workers’ compensation insurance. However, that could come back on you.

If the employer refuses to get workers’ compensation insurance, then you should think about finding a new job. If you are hurt on the job and there is no workers’ compensation insurance, then it is likely that you will be out of work without pay until you recover from your injuries, and you will have to find a way to pay the medical bills to treat your work injuries.

If you have a family who is depending on your pay and you cannot work, then this could be a nightmare for you and your family, especially if you do not have an emergency fund.

One of the New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration many duties is to ensure that employers have workers’ compensation insurance to protect their workers and the workers’ families.

On the New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration website at https://workerscomp.nm.gov/about you can see that increasing the number of insured businesses is a strategic goal. The Enforcement Bureau’s main job is to ensure that employers have workers’ compensation insurance and can penalize employers who don’t have workers’ compensation insurance.

You are within your rights to report employers who do not have workers’ compensation insurance. You can call 505 841-6000 and tell the person who answers that you want to report an employer who does not have workers’ compensation insurance. I believe you can make an anonymous report so the employer does not who made the report.

SO, BASIC #1: CONFIRM IF YOUR EMPLOYER HAS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSURANCE.