Committee to hear bill punishing businesses with ‘presumed liability’ for COVID-positive employees

On Tuesday, the House Labor, Veterans’ and Military Affairs Committee is set to consider a bill, H.B. 268, which will enact “presumed liability” on businesses for employees’ contraction of COVID-19. The bill is sponsored by Reps. Dayan Hochman-Vigil (D-Bernalillo) and Christine Chandler (D-Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, and Santa Fe). 

According to the New Mexico Business Coalition, “the employee would not be required to prove that they were actually exposed to Covid-19 at work.” 

The bill reads, “If an essential employee is diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 caused by the novel coronavirus, and the essential employee has established that the employer has not strictly complied with the then existent public health orders related to the coronavirus disease 2019, the condition is presumed to be: (1) an accidental injury arising out of and in the course of employment; (2) reasonably incident to and proximately caused by employment; and (3) a disability that is a natural and direct result of the accident.” 

The business would be forced to go to court to dispute the claim that the essential employee contracted COVID-19 during work. The bill reads, “The presumptions created in Subsection B of this section may be rebutted by a preponderance of evidence in a court of competent jurisdiction establishing that the employee engaged in conduct or activities outside of employment that substantially violated the then existent public health orders related to the coronavirus disease 2019.” 

The New Mexico Business Coalition urges members of the public to reach out to legislators on the committee and urge them to vote “NO” on the measure “because it is unfair and injurious to businesses that have been working to keep the economy going during forced shutdowns.” 

Members of the Committee can be reached by clicking here

UPDATE: On February 18, the House Labor, Veterans’ and Military Affairs Committee passed the bill on a partisan vote of 5-3. It now moves forward to its next committee.

2 thoughts on “Committee to hear bill punishing businesses with ‘presumed liability’ for COVID-positive employees”

  1. This is another step in putting the nail in the coffin of every small business. Why do you think this legislation is good for the state? There is no way to prove where someone acquires this virus and many people are infected by family members. Most businesses have taken every precaution they can to stay open

    I am ashamed of your action. Dont come raising taxes when our budget deficit gets big. Responsibility sits squarely on your shoulders

  2. The virus has yet to be proven to exist by any “scientific method” – Koch’s Postulate is the only means to actually “find” this so called virus. The virus does not exist and the state must prove to the entire population it does exist, but they cannot do this, therefore it does not exist. PCR testing is not a sound, viable or lawful means of testing for the fraud Covid19. PCR testing was not designed to diagnose so how can the state prove their “right” to shut everything down without valid and lawful evidence? They cannot!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top