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(c) 2020 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Is the workers' compensation system ready for the 2019-nCoV [coronavirus] virus?

Is seems that every decade a new pandemic emerges on the world scene and complacency continues to exist in the workers’ compensation arena to meet the emerging challenges of infectious disease.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Medical Providers Prohibited From Reporting to Credit Agencies

NJ Governor Murphy has signed legislation (S.3036) that prohibits a provider to an injured worker of medical, surgical, other treatment, or hospital service pursuant to the workers' compensation law, R.S.34:15-1 et seq., from reporting any portion of their charges which are alleged to be unpaid, to any collection or credit reporting agency, bureau, or data collection facility.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

NJ Benefits to Increase for Certain Injuries and a Study Commission Will Review System Going Forward

NJ Governor Murphy has signed legislation to increase certain workers' compensation benefits and also require the appointment of a study commission to review and recommend changes to the State's workers' compensation system going forward.

NJ Governor Murphy Signs Sweeping Legislative Package to Combat Worker Misclassification and Exploitation

Acting on his commitment to support and uplift New Jersey workers, Governor Phil Murphy today signed a legislative package combatting worker misclassification and exploitation. The bills will crack down on employee misclassification in businesses by allowing stop-work orders against employers violating state wage, benefit, and tax law; providing assessment of penalties for violations in connection with misclassification of employees; and requiring employers to post a notice for their employees regarding employee misclassification, among others.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Medical Marijuana and the Supremacy Clause

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” -John F. Kennedy

An unsettled area of the law has emerged between, the widespread adoption by the states to permit prescribed marijuana to relieve certain medical conditions and the strict federal law mandating the substance as a Schedule 1, Controlled Substance [CSA]. With an estimated 43.3 million Americans using the elicited drug, and the challenges of the “opioid epidemic” creating massive addiction and fatal results, the nation’s workers’ compensation system has been challenged to provide adequate authorized medical treatment.

NJ Offers Tax Credits to Employers to Offset Minimum Wage Increases for Workers with Impairments

A $10 million tax credit program put into effect for the 2019 tax year will help offset payroll cost increases for employers of workers with impairments.

The program was created through the minimum wage law signed by Governor Murphy in 2019 to ease the transition for businesses to a $15 minimum wage, and is administered by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. It is designed to help bridge the economic gap for employers as the minimum wage rises by $1 per hour each year until it reaches $15 per hour in 2024 for most employees.

Employers of workers with impairments will be able to claim credit for the cost of the wage increases and corresponding increases in payroll taxes that the employer pays on those workers’ wages.

“Every hardworking New Jerseyan working full-time deserves a fair, livable wage,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “With this new program, we are committed to providing individuals with disabilities the opportunity to fully participate in our society and economy while ensuring the viability of businesses in New Jersey.”

“While it is critical for workers to be able to earn a living wage, we must also continue to support our business community, especially those who provide employment for hard-to-place workers,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.

The program is part of Gov. Murphy’s Jobs NJ, a multi-pronged initiative to grow New Jersey’s talent pool to meet the needs of businesses into the future. It is part of the governor’s over-arching goal of providing equitable opportunities in the workforce and building a stronger, fairer economy for all. To learn more about Jobs NJ, click here.

Qualifying employees are those who earn at least minimum wage and whose work capacity is “significantly impaired by age or physical or mental deficiency or injury” and who are found by the state to be eligible for personal assistance or prescribed drugs to be able to perform the essential tasks of the job.

Eligible employers must complete an Application for Certification, which can be found here.

To read more about "minimum wage" and workers' compensation, click here.
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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.

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