News Digest 3-3-2021


Lawsuit accuses New Mexico governor of protecting workers’ comp official

A new lawsuit accuses New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s administration of directing state agencies to withhold public records to protect a government official who was promoted despite previously having been accused of bullying and harassment. The lawsuit specifically accuses the state agencies of withholding public records about the background of the workers’ compensation acting deputy director and mediations bureau chief and asks the court to compel the agencies to produce the records. In 2015, while working as an assistant attorney general, the individual was accused of bullying and inappropriate behavior toward female employees of a nonprofit organization for which he had oversight duties, according to court records and media reports. Santa Fe New Mexican


New Mexico bill adds COVID to workers’ comp act

Essential employees who contract COVID-19 will qualify for workers’ compensation under new legislation advanced Friday by the New Mexico House and passed on party-line 5-3 vote. Under HB 268, employers may rebut COVID-19 workers’ comp claims by showing the employee personally and substantially violated current public health orders. The bill would become effective immediately upon the governor’s signature and would remain in effect until January 31, 2023. Los Alamos Daily Post


‘Can I get workers’ compensation for hearing loss?’

If your hearing is damaged due to on-the-job conditions, you’re entitled to workers’ compensation. But because hearing loss can develop slowly, it can be hard to know if you should file a claim. Healthy Hearing


Mississippi workers’ comp chairman to speak to GOP women

Mark Formby, who is chairman of the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission, will be the guest speaker at the next Jones County Republican Women’s monthly meeting on March 10. Formby served on the Washington, D.C., staff of Sen. Trent Lott before serving 24 years in the state House of Representatives. Laurel Leader-Call