New Mexico Court Rules Farm, Ranch Laborers Eligible for Workers’ Comp

June 30, 2015

The New Mexico Court of Appeals has cleared the way for farm and ranch laborers to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

In a ruling issued this week, the court declared unconstitutional a provision in state law that had excluded those workers from the system that provides benefits for employees injured on the job. That exclusion had been in place since the 1930s.

The ruling will apply to claims going back to March 2012.

migrant-workersThe state Workers’ Compensation Administration says it intends to enforce the court’s decision, but it wasn’t immediately clear how many claims are pending.

The ruling stemmed from two separate cases in which workers injured while on the job at Brand West Dairy and M.A. & Sons Chili Products had their claims dismissed. They filed separate appeals challenging the constitutionality of the exclusion.

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