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(c) 2017 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

NJ Governor Nominates Judges of Compensation and Promotes Bill to Increase Salaries

NJ Governor Chris Christie filed the following nominations with the State Senate. The Governor’s nominations are subject to the advice and consent of the State Senate. The Governor also filed the following direct appointments with the Secretary of State's Office.


Judges of Compensation
Appointments:
In New Jersey, "Judges of Compensation are appointed on a bipartisan basis by the Governor of the State of New Jersey with the advice and consent of the Senate and serve during good behavior. 1
N.J.S.A. 34:15-49. They are considered members of the executive branch and are not judicial officers. Wright v. Plaza Ford, 164 N.J.Super. 203, 395 A.2d 1259 (App.Div.1978). The Commissioner of the Department of Labor has the power to discipline judges of compensation during the short term even though the power to appoint judges of compensation is vested with the governor of the State. Grzankowski v. Heymann, 128 N.J.Super. 563, 321 A.2d 262 (App.Div.1974)." Gelman, Jon L., 39 N.J. Prac., Workers' Compensation Law § 28.2 (3d ed.).

Salaries: 
Salaries of NJ Compensation Judges are set by statute. "A Judge of Compensation has an initial appointment for three years at an annual salary equal to 80% of the annual salary of a judge of the Superior Court. Upon favorable recommendation by the Director/Chief Judge of the Division of Workers' Compensation after 1 year, there may be an increase to 83⅔%, after 2 years to 86⅔%. After a favorable evaluation following the initial 3 year term, a Judge of Compensation is paid at a salary equal to 90% of the annual salary of a judge of the Superior Court. Re-appointment after the 3 year period is made by the Governor of the State of New Jersey with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The salary of the Director/Chief Judge of the Division of Workers' Compensation is equal to 94% of the annual salary of a judge of the Superior Court." Gelman, Jon L., 39 N.J. Prac., Workers' Compensation Law § 28.2 (3d ed.).

Pensions: 
 • Workers’ Compensation Judges who were enrolled in the WCJ Part prior to its closure remain members of the WCJ Part of the PERS (Public Employees' Retirement System-Workers' Compensation Judges Addendum). 
• A member who is enrolled in the regular PERS, and who is appointed as a Workers’ Compensation Judge on or after June 8, 2007, will remain a regular PERS member while a Workers’ Compensation Judge. 
• Workers’ Compensation Judges who are appointed on or after July 1, 2007, and do not have an existing PERS membership may only be enrolled in the Defined Contribution Retirement Program (DCRP). See Fact Sheet #80, DCRP for Elected and AppointedOfficials, for more information.
Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters). 

For over 4 decades the 
Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  jon@gelmans.com  has been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

Related:
Christie near nadir of political power, observers say northjersey.com 12/22/16
N.J. lawmakers kill Christie book deal, hold off on newspaper bill philly.com 12/20/2016

Christie's book deal with Democrats would cost taxpayers millions northjersey.com 12/14/16

NJ lawmakers advance plan for Workers' Compensation Judges raises, paving way for Christie book deal nj101.5.com 12/15/16

NJ Workers' Compensation Judges salary increase tied to Gov Christie's book deal  Philly.com 12/16/16

Lawmakers sow backlash in backroom deal with Christie northjersey.com 12/16/16

Pending Legislation:
A505 Increases Judicial Salaries by set amount over multiple years, and thereafter provides for annual salary cost of living adjustment.
Identical Bill Number: S559

S559 Increases Judicial Salaries by set amount over multiple years, and thereafter provides for annual salary cost of living adjustment.
Identical Bill Number: A505

Updated: 12/20/2016