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

Thursday, April 9, 2020

NJ Workers’ Compensation and the New Virtual Reality

The COVID-19 pandemic has abruptly changed how hearings will conducted before the NJ Division of Workers Compensation [Division]. In light of State of Emergency Orders announced by NJ Gov. Pat Murphy that mandate social distancing and restricted travel, the DIvision has embarked upon limited virtual hearings.

The Division announced on April 8, 2020 in a Notice to the Bar, that:

“All Administrative Supervisory Judges and Supervising Judges shall continue to be designated by the N.J. Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the N.J. Division of Workers’ Compensation as essential personnel and shall hear as many Workers’ Compensation matters as possible in their home vicinage by telephonic conferencing, and if possible by video conferencing, including all emergent matters and the following non- emergent matters, pre-trial conferences, general motions for medical and temporary benefits, and settlements by affidavit.

“There will be no in-person Workers’ Compensation Court proceedings (except for extremely limited emergent matters and certain ongoing motions for medical and temporary benefits and trials, in which case social distancing will be enforced).

The Florida Office of Judges of Compensation Claims and Division of Administrative Hearings, has established rules to operate a model virtual system to remotely swear in witnesses. The Hon. David Langham the Deputy Chief Judge of Compensation has posted an outline of the procedure utilized in Florida that permits that system to operate efficiently and effectively.

NJ is going in the right direction to service the citizens and employers of the State of New Jersey. It needs to take the next step forward, including adopting rules, to allow full plenary hearings, including actual testimony to proceed, as we enter the new virtual reality of workers’ compensation.

Relating information:

The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, [CPRSAA] 2020 (March 6, 2020)

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

CDC Coronavirus Guidance Sets a Standard for Employer Responsibility and Liability 2/28/2020

New Jersey Benefits and the Coronavirus (COVID-19): What Employees Should Know 3/17/2020
….

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.

Blog: Workers ' Compensation
Twitter: jongelman
LinkedIn: JonGelman
LinkedIn Group: Injured Workers Law & Advocacy Group
Author: "Workers' Compensation Law" West-Thomson-Reuters

Sunday, April 5, 2020

NJ Law Expands Employee Benefits During the COVID Pandemic

NJ Governor Pat Murphy has signed into law new
Legislation that expands employee benefits during the
COVID-19 pandemic.

Is the workers' compensation system ready for the COVID-19 [coronavirus] virus? Live Updates

It 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.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

NJ Labor Department Urges Businesses to Keep Employees on the Payroll through COVID-19

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) is urging employers to keep employees on the payroll throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and to take advantage of a 100 percent, dollar for dollar, payroll tax credit provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Anthony John Minniti, 1948 - 2020

The Honorable Anthony John Minniti, 71, of West Orange, passed away Friday, March 27, 2020. 

Friday, March 20, 2020

NJ Governor Murphy Signs Legislation to Prohibit Employers from Terminating or Refusing to Reinstate an Employee Who Misses Work Due to an Infectious Disease

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy today signed legislation (A3848), which prohibits an employer, during the ongoing Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 103, from terminating or refusing to reinstate an employee who has, or is likely to have, an infectious disease which requires the employee to miss time at work. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

New Jersey Benefits and the Coronavirus (COVID-19): What Employees Should Know

A person who was exposed to coronavirus during the course of their work and has now been told to self-quarantine (healthcare workers, wait staff, retail teachers, etc.)