Workers’ Compensation In Texas, Oklahoma And New Mexico
The southwestern states are some of the most dangerous states for construction workers, with Texas ranking as the most dangerous. According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which was reported using figures from 2019, Texas had 608 workplace deaths.
The Southwest Pipe Trades Association, the United Association (UA) of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing, Pipefitting and Sprinkler Fitting Industry and its affiliated Local Unions believe it is vital for workers to be fairly compensated for injuries suffered due to unsafe working conditions.
All SWPTA-affiliated contractors carry workers’ compensation insurance and believe it is important to do so, as workers deserve to keep earning a living while injured and unable to work through no fault of their own.
Workers’ compensation in Texas
As stated, Texas is the most dangerous state for construction workers. Although Texas has a large population and a booming construction industry, the 608 workplace fatalities reported in 2019 is a large jump from the 451 suffered in California, the second highest state for workplace fatalities.
In order for a Texan injured on the job to receive workers’ compensation benefits, their employer must have workers compensation insurance. There is no law in Texas that requires employers to maintain workers compensation insurance. However, all SWPTA-affiliated contractors possess this insurance in order that tradesmen and tradeswomen can continue providing for their families, even when out-of-work due to injury.
You can learn more about workers’ compensation in Texas and how to file a claim for benefits by visiting the Texas Department of Insurance website.
Workers’ compensation in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, employees are covered by the workers’ compensation laws of the state from the moment they become employees. This is important, as workers classified as independent contractors are not covered under the state’s workers’ compensation laws and are therefore not eligible for workers compensation.
Unlike Texas, all Oklahoma employers are mandated to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which pays for medical expenses and lost wages.
You can learn more about workers’ compensation in Oklahoma by visiting the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission website.
Workers’ compensation in New Mexico
Similar to Oklahoma, employers in New Mexico are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance if they employ three or more workers. All SWPTA-affiliated contractors in New Mexico carry this insurance.
Some employers will try to skirt paying workers’ compensation by classifying workers as independent contractors, allowing them to avoid the cost.
If you would like more information on workers’ compensation in New Mexico, visit the New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration website.