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New Jersey Workers' Compensation

The Workers’ Compensation system of New Jersey was designed to provide benefits to the injured worker without regard to the negligence of either the employee or the employer. The law recognizes that the workplace has inherent dangers and benefits are necessary regardless of fault.

New Jersey Workers Compensation law defines an injury as work-related if it arises out of or in the course of employment. The employee is required to give adequate and timely notice of the injury to the employer. Upon proper notice, the employee may be entitled to statutory benefits including temporary wage and medical benefits pending the outcome of the case. After proper treatment is provided, a determination will be made whether the employee has suffered any permanent disability. A percentage of disability is usually assigned to the case which translates into a dollar value based upon charts published yearly by the New Jersey Division of Workers' Compensation.

In New Jersey, workers compensation claims are brought by the filing of a formal Verified Claim Petition which contains specific information about the employee (known as the Petitioner), the employer (known as the Respondent), the work-related accident, occupational disease, and the injury sustained and wage information. The Petition will be assigned to a court covering the area of the employee's residence. If the employee is not a resident of the State of New Jersey, the Petition is assigned a Court covering the area of the employer's place of business.

Under the New Jersey Workers Compensation Act, an injured employee in most instances cannot seek additional recovery from an employer beyond what is provided for under the workers' compensation laws. An injured employee, however, is not barred from bringing a civil action for recovery against others (other than the employer) who may be responsible for the injury. These claims are referred to as "third party claims" and may be an important part of your case.

Employer Intimidation is Illegal in New Jersey

New Jersey State law prohibits any form of retaliatory action against a worker by their employer for filing a workers' compensation claim. This law is codified at 34:15-39.1. This statute specifically states that it is unlawful for an employer, or their agent, to fire or discriminate against an employee who has filed a claim for workers' compensation benefits. Employers who do retaliate against an employee are subject to fines and the employee may get their job back, complete with any lost wages as a result of the retaliation. The full text of the statute is provided below.

N.J.S.A. 34:15-39.1
 
   Unlawful discharge of, or discrimination against, employee claiming
   compensation benefits; penalty.

 
  It shall be unlawful for any employer or his duly authorized agent to discharge or in any other manner discriminate against an employee as to his employment because such employee has claimed or attempted to claim workmen’s compensation benefits from such employer, or because he has testified, or is about to testify, in any proceeding under the chapter to which this act is a supplement. For any violation of this act, the employer or agent shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100.00 nor more than $1,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than 60 days or both. Any employee so discriminated against shall be restored to his employment and shall be compensated by his employer for any loss of wages arising out of such discrimination; provided, if such employee shall cease to be qualified to perform the duties of his employment he shall not be entitled to such restoration and compensation.

Copyright © 2000-Present by John F. Renner. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of all or any part of this document, without prior permission of John F. Renner, Esq. is expressly prohibited. 

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