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February 2024

Questa  •  Red River  •  Cerro  •  Costilla  •  Amalia  •  Lama  •  San Cristobal

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Navigating the Legal Landscape: A Shift to Remote Work

Covid, along with other factors, has prompted a reevaluation of our economic landscape. Remote work, facilitated by technological advancements, presents an opportunity for our community to diversify and thrive in the digital age. Yet, as we embark on this journey, understanding the legal aspects is of great importance.

Some key legal considerations for remote work include:

Employment Law Compliance
Even in a remote setting, while engaging in remote work, employees must be aware of employment laws such as wage and hour regulations, workplace safety, and anti-discrimination laws. Employers must treat their remote workers as if it were an in-office job meaning they are subject to the same federal and state laws, this includes any risks or hazards, providing employees with a safe work environment.
Intellectual Property and Data Security

Data privacy is important for all digital work whether it is on work property or in your home. When collecting, processing, or storing data employees should be in compliance with encryption and access controls and understand the importance to prevent data breaches (intentional or unintentional). Complying with data protection laws and regulations varies by state. New Mexico’s Data Breach Notification Act requires notifying the owner or licensee of any data/security breaches as soon as possible.

Worker’s Compensation
Regardless of the location of a job, employee injury or illness is compensable under worker’s compensation if and only it arises in the course of employment. Proof of the injury being work-related is crucial in the case that an injury is being claimed outside of the workspace, according, SHRM.org.

Remote Work Agreements
Depending on the company or employer, work rules and policies are to be applied to offsite locations. This includes some general expectations such as avoiding alcohol consumption during work hours, distraction free environment, maintaining a workspace free of hazards, and giving undivided attention during virtual meetings. Avoiding disruptions to the workday leave room for a safe and hazard free remote work environment protecting employees and employers from any legal implications.

The effect of Covid and lack of work opportunities was undoubtedly a challenging moment for Questa. However, by embracing the potential of remote work, we can transform adversity into opportunity. Through community support, investment in digital infrastructure, and a commitment to adaptability, Questa can pave the way for a resilient and prosperous future.