by Barbara J. Koenig
Foster, Rieder & Jackson, P.C.
A new law in New Mexico is designed to clear up confusion on how workers’ compensation benefits can be lowered when a worker is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The law will go into effect on May 18.
The new law was enacted because New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration (WCA) judges have faced troubling issues raised by two conflicting statutes. One law said a worker found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of an injury wouldn’t be entitled to any workers’ comp indemnity benefits at all. Another law said the judge must reduce benefits by 10%.