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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Senate fails to revive workers' comp bill for first responders

The NJ Senate has been unable change the burden of proof required for First Responders to prove compensability. While some jurisdictions have multiple "presumptions of compensability" statutorily enacted, NJ has consistently maintained a minimal number. Today's post was shared by WCBlog and comes from

State Senate Democrats have failed to override Gov. Chris Christie's recent veto of a bill that would have made it easier for emergency first responders to obtain workers' compensation coverage when they get injured or contract a disease on the job during a terrorist attack or another catastrophic event.

The bill would have required the employer to challenge any work-related injuries and illness, shifting the burden away from nurses, firefighters, police officers, rescue squad members and other first responders who have to prove how and when they were hurt or sickened under the current system.

Wages and medical benefits would be paid if "any death or disability, including post traumatic stress disorder, arises from the physical or psychological impact of stress or injury experienced by the public safety worker during response to a terrorist attack, epidemic or other catastrophic emergency," according to the bill sponsored by Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-Middlesex).
Christie said while the state is grateful for the heroic work of its first responders, New Jersey can't afford this legislation.

"The costs associated with the injuries those duties may cause must be administered in a responsible manner that matches our public resources," Christie said in a statement when he vetoed the bill a month ago. "Although this measure would likely have a significant impact on State, local, and municipal government budgets, the bill’s...

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