New Mexico Independent Contractors laws & HR compliance analysis

New Mexico Independent Contractors: What you need to know

Whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is critical when it comes to such important issues as pension eligibility, workers' compensation coverage, wage and hour law, and many other matters. In some situations, federal law will govern, but the question is most often resolved by looking to state law, particularly in areas such as unemployment tax liability, workers' compensation, and state wage and hour requirements.
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Individuals performing services for an employer are presumed to be covered by New Mexico's unemployment compensation laws unless it shown by a preponderance of evidence that the individual:
Has been and will continue to be free from control or direction from the employer in the performance of such services both under the contract for service and in fact;
Is performing the service either outside the usual course of the employer's business or outside of all the places of business of the employer; and
Is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business of the same nature as that involved in the contract of service (NM Stat. Sec. 51-1-42).
An employer-employee relationship is a prerequisite for determining whether an individual is eligible for workers' compensation coverage. New Mexico applies the common-law definition of an independent contractor for determining whether such a relationship exists. According to New Mexico court decisions, an "employee" differs from "independent contractor" in that the employer, in the case of employees, has the right to control not only the results of work but methods of performance of the work. The right of control, not ...

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