Like other industrial states, NJ has suffered terribly from the economic consequences of the loss of its manufacturing base. Additionally, NJ population has shifted and the service industries are generating more claims in the southern tier of the state.
Even though the NJ Division of Workers' Compensation is funded from insurance premiums through charges directly to employers (Second Injury Fund costs), the increased operational expenses remain a burden upon all who work in the state. Consolidation represents a balancing of interests to meet present realistic demands..
For the most part, statistical transparency in NJ is lacking as to docket loads and disposition rates. Some states, like Florida, publicly disseminate that data, making comparison and analysis open for review. NJ does not publicly publish regional, or hearing officer statistical disposition data.
Ironically, NJ Workers Compensation Director & Chief Judge Peter Calderone announced that he will retire March 1, 2015. It was also announced that NJ Labor Commissioner Wirths will appoint Judge Russell Wojtenko as the new Director & Chief Judge of the NJ Division of Workers' Compensation.
While lawsuits have been filed in the past by claimants attorneys, and by local county bar associations, regarding locations of hearing offices in the State of NJ, the outcomes have not been successful.