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Monday, September 27, 2021

NJ Governor Signs Hiring Preference Law for Employees Injured at Work

On Friday, September 24, 2021, NJ Governor Phil Murphy signed A-2617/S-2998 [P.L.2021, c.228.], requiring employers to provide hiring preference to employees who have reached maximum medical improvement following a work-related injury.

This bill requires an employer with at least 50 employees to provide a hiring preference to an employee injured in a work-related injury, has reached maximum medical improvement, and cannot return to the employee’s former position with that employer. The employer is only required to provide the hiring preference if the employee can perform the essential duties of an existing, unfilled job.


The bill does not require an employer to create a new position for the injured employee, nor does it require the employer to remove another employee from an existing but filled place to accommodate the injured employee. 

The floor amendments of June 3, 2021, were: 

(1) exclude from the definition of employer any contractor as that term is defined in section 3 of P.L.1999, c.238 (C.34:11-56.50); and 

(2) provide that the bill does not apply to athletes employed by professional sports teams. 

The law is effective immediately,

Recommended Citation: Jon L. Gelman,  NJ Governor Signs Hiring Preference Law for Work-Related Injuries, Workers' Compensation Blog (Sept. 27, 2021),

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Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters). For over four decades, the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  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" Thomson-Reuters