News Digest 2-22-2021


Bill adding COVID-19 to New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Act clears first committee

Essential employees who contract COVID-19 will be able to file claims under the New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Act, under new legislation advanced by the New Mexico House Labor, Veterans’ and Military Affairs Committee. Employers would be allowed to rebut COVID-19 workers’ comp claims by providing evidence the employee personally and substantially violated current public health orders. Los Alamos Reporter


Washington farm declines workers’ comp to foreign agworker

Although Washington Labor & Industries has twice directed a fruit farm to pay the medical bills, time loss and other benefits related to a federal H-2A program participant for his COVID-19, the company has declined on the grounds it has not been established he contracted the disease either at work or in employer-provided housing. Advocates say it’s representative of a larger trend. Inlander


Connecticut business group responds to proposed workers’ comp expansion

The Connecticut Legislature’s Labor and Public Employees Committee is reviewing a number of measures intended to expand the state’s workers’ compensation system, the most robust of which would extend workers’ compensation for mental or emotional impairments to cover all employees, according to the Connecticut Business & Industry Association. CBIA


North Carolina records highest number of workplace deaths in a decade

North Carolina had the highest number of on-the-job deaths in a decade in 2020, more than a third of which were attributable to the pandemic, according to state labor officials. Employee advocates are making a formal complaint to the federal government. WCNC