If you suffered an injury on the job and are now unable to work because of it, there is no doubt you should file a claim for workers’ compensation.
While some employers try to discourage workers’ comp claims, the truth is that you lawfully can file and are legally protected if you do.
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation in New Mexico is a federal insurance that provides medical benefits and wage payments to people who suffer an injury or become ill at work.
Workers’ compensation insurance is required for employers in New Mexico, and an alternate state insurance fund is available for businesses that are unable to find coverage from a private company.
Can your employer fire you for making a workers’ comp claim?
When you file a workers’ comp claim, the law prohibits your employer from retaliating against you for filing the claim.
This means they cannot fire you or take away your benefits because you got injured and forced them to use their workers’ compensation insurance.
Can your employer fire you for other reasons while you are out on workers’ comp?
Your employer can terminate your employment while you are out on workers’ comp if they have grounds to do so. There are valid legal reasons for dismissing an employee while on workers’ compensation; however, the legality of firing that employee is very much a gray area.
In any case, you will continue to receive your workers’ compensation benefits even if you are rightfully terminated.
If your employer threatens you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, the law is on your side. You lawfully can receive benefits regardless of your employer’s reservations.