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New Mexico governor signs workers comp bill

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New Mexico

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez signed a bill into law Monday that limits workers compensation temporary total disability and permanent partial disability benefits for certain injured workers who leave their current employers for another company or fail to accept a job offer.

Senate Bill 155, sponsored by Sen. Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, ends TTD and PPD benefits for injured workers if they reject a reasonable offer of employment with their employer at or above their pre-injury wage within medical restrictions, if they accept employment with another employer at or above their pre-injury wage or if they are terminated for misconduct unrelated to the workplace injury. An employer that is found by a workers comp judge to have terminated a worker to avoid paying benefits or as retaliation for filing a workers comp claim could be fined up to $10,000.

The law, effective July 1, is expected to result in minimal administrative costs, according to an analysis posted on the New Mexico legislature’s website.

The New Mexico Senate passed the bill by a vote of 32-8 in February, and the New Mexico House of Representatives unanimously passed the legislation March 16.