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 New Mexico School To Work Program Partnership
Guide to Student Employment Liability and
Legal Issues
This is summarized based upon information from the New Mexico Workers' Compensation Administration, the US and NM Department of Labor and NM Public Schools Insurance Authority.

Injuries to the Student:
1.)  Most employers with three or more employees are covered under the Workers' Compensation Act for employee injuries and the Occupational Disease Disablement Law for job-related illness.  Effect on employer insurance rates for adding students is likely to be very small.
**Proof of Workers' compensation coverage from the employer must provided to the STWO office.  Coverage for School-To-Work participants must be provided through the same insurance policy or self-insured plan provided for all full-time employees of the company.

2.)  If the employer is not subject to Workers' Compensation Act or if the Student is not paid Workers' Compensation does not apply.  In these non-covered cases, the NM Public Schools Insurance Authority requires proof of accident insurance coverage from its participating members, which are most in public school districts.
**If the student is unpaid or the employer is not covered, proof of medical insurance or proof of purchase of NMPSIA policy must be provided by the STWO office. (Applications available through STWO office or NMPSIA.)

3.)  Job shadowing only
**The school should request written assurance that the employer has adequate liability insurance or the school should assume liability.

Liability for Damages or Injury Caused by the Student:
1.)  The school district's liability insurance or self-insurance does not cover the student at the work site for job placement.
**The school should obtain written assurance from participating employers that the student is covered under the employer's policy.  The school must require that the student receive the same safety training provided other new employees and that it be documented.

Transportation, Accidents, and Injury:
1.)  The school is liable for injuries if providing actual transportation.  The school may be liable if it recommends to students certain transportation options.
**If the students is to be responsible for his or her own transportation, the school should require a written statement of the student's plans and proof of automobile liability and medical insurance.

Child Labor Laws Compliance for Working Conditions and Wages:
1.)  Federal and state labor laws and regulations apply to student workload experience depending on the circumstances.
                Federal Fair Labor Labor Standards (FLSA) regulates:
                *age related work                                                             *rates of pay
                *farm activities                                                                 *occupational limitations
                *driving of motor vehicles                                             *hours of work

The FLSA is NOT applicable if the work based learning experience is any of the following:
                *Career exploration and awareness only
                *work site field trips
                *job shadowing
                *a work site learning experience which is a planned progressive program of broad based transferable skills of increasing complexity across all industry aspects requiring critical thinking and problem solving under close supervision without displacing regular employees resulting in a skill certificate but with no expectation of a job nor pay by the student and parent.  A detailed description of these regulation is found in the "Schools to Careers Opportunities and Fair Labor Standards Act" pamphlet.  Or available (214) 767-6897

2.)  New Mexico Child Labor Laws Regulate
                 *age related work                                                              *hours of work
                 *work permits                                                                    *prohibited occupations

These regulations apply whether the work us paid or unpaid and are summarized in the New Mexico Department of Labor "Child Labor Laws" booklet.

For further information contact:

Workers Compensation Administration                                         New Mexico Public Schools Insurance
2410 Centre Dr., S.E.                                                                           Authority
Albuquerque, NM 87125-7198                                                          410 Old Taos Highway
(505) 841-6000 / 800-855-7965                                                            Santa Fe, NM 87501
                                                                                                               (505) 988-2736

US Department of Labor                                                                    New Mexico Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division                                                                   Labor and Industrial Division
505 Marquette NW, Suite 840                                                           Child Labor Section
Albuquerque, NM                                                                              1596 Pacheco Street
(505) 248-5115                                                                                      Santa Fe, NM 87505
                                                                                                               (505) 827-6830

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