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Workers who have left employment due to safety concerns may apply for unemployment benefits

For Immediate Release
July 27, 2020

Contact: Stacy Johnston
Acting Public Information Officer


Workers who have left employment due to safety concerns
may apply for unemployment benefits


(Albuquerque, NM) – Several restaurants across New Mexico have continued dine-in services which is in direct violation of the state Public Health Order and in doing so have endangered workers and customers. The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) encourages employees of those establishments who have left employment due to safety concerns to apply for unemployment benefits.  

The New Mexico Environment Department has suspended food service permits and is pursuing enforcement and possible legal action at the following establishments:

  • Pizza Inn – one location in Hobbs and two in Carlsbad
  • Trinity Hotel and Restaurant – located in Carlsbad
  • Los Hermanitos – two locations in Farmington
  • Casey’s - located in Hobbs
  • TJ’s Diner – located in Farmington
  • Country Family Restaurant – located in Kirtland

Workers from the establishments previously mentioned may file for Unemployment Insurance (UI) and will be granted “good cause” due to their employer creating dangerous working conditions by disregarding required COVID-Safe Practices. These situations are being handled by NMDWS on a case-by-case basis. 

The Department will continue to issue blanket determinations based on the systematic violation of health guidance by an employer.

“It’s unfortunate that we are making this blanket determination again for even more employers who are not abiding by the clearly outlined health ordinance set forth by our Governor.” said Bill McCamley, Secretary of the New Mexico Workforce Solutions Department. “The safety of our workers, and communities during this time cannot be emphasized enough. Our department, alongside the Departments of Public Safety, Health, and Environment will continue to protect New Mexico’s workers, and enforce these rules that will keep our friends and neighbors safe.”  

A worker who can prove that their employer is not following safety guidelines issued by the state, may file a claim for unemployment and will receive “good cause”.

Affected workers can apply for UI one of two ways, online at www.jobs.state.nm.us, or by calling the Unemployment Insurance Operations Center at 1-877-664-6984 Monday through Friday, 7am -6:30pm. To file a claim quickly, the Department encourages claimants to apply online if possible, which 95% of all UI claimants have done.

If you believe your workplace is unsafe, you may report it to the New Mexico Environment Department’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau at complaints.OSHA@state.nm.us. Your identity will remain anonymous.




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