How do the laws affect you as an employer, and what are your responsibilities? Worker´s Compensation Attorneys serving Trenton, Princeton, Lawrence, Hamilton, and across Mercer County
According to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Resource Development, all employees must provide workers’ compensation insurance unless they are covered by a federal program or meet the requirements for approval for self-insurance. This necessity to protect one’s employees’ safety and security is at the heart of all federally- and state-mandated workers’ compensation laws.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Worker’s Compensation Insurance in New Jersey is the way employers are held responsible and resourced in meeting their employees’ safety and security needs. In other words, it’s the insurance system through which employers cover the expenses of an employee’s injury sustained while on the job. This system provides the employee with the security of knowing that if they are injured at work, resulting in medical expenses, time lost from pay for recovery, or other costs, including short- or long-term disability pay, the employee will be able to get those costs covered by their employer. As a result of providing this guarantee of support to their employees, an employer is protected from lawsuits in the case of injury on the job. One reason for this protection from lawsuits is that the workers’ compensation program is a no-fault system, meaning that the employer is not held liable for injury to employees sustained on the job, as long as they provide this protection of financial coverage for medical and other expenses.
As an Employer, What Responsibilities for Offering Workers’ Compensation Insurance Do I Have?
You, as an employer, are responsible for taking all of the precautions necessary to ensure the safety and security of your employees. This means keeping the grounds maintained, providing safety training in machinery use, and other preventive measures.
All corporations and limited liability corporations (LLCs) must have workers’ compensation insurance or be approved for self-insurance. Workers’ Compensation benefits must include corporate officers in corporations, and LLCs must cover all employees who are not partners or members of the LLC.
If a sole proprietorship employees anyone besides the principal owner, it must also have workers’ compensation insurance or proof of self-insurance.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Five types of benefits providing workers’ compensation insurance for your employees provides them. They are as follows:
- Medical benefits: These benefits cover medical expenses, prescriptions, hospital stays, and another injury- or illness-related costs. An employer, or their insurance provider, has the option of determining which medical providers their employees are allowed to use in order to receive these workers’ compensation benefits, as long as those options cover the full range of injuries or illnesses sustained while the employee was on the job.
- Temporary total benefits: Temporary total benefits come into play if an employee is injured on the job and must miss work for more than seven days. These benefits cover 70 percent of their lost wages and are retroactive to the employee’s first missed day. Temporary total benefits continue until the employee begins work again or sees substantial improvement in their health. There is a 400-week maximum for an employer’s obligation to pay temporary total benefits.
- Permanent partial benefits: If after the period of temporary total benefits is paid by the employer, the employee still has some functional loss, the employer is required then to pay permanent partial benefits weekly.
- Permanent total benefits: If the employee’s injury sustained on the job results in their inability to have steady employment in their field, they are eligible for permanent total benefits. The initial period for these benefits is 450 weeks, at which point the employee must prove that they are still unable to work in order to receive continued benefits. These benefits are also 70 percent of their average weekly wage.
- Death benefits: If a work-related injury or illness results in an employee’s death, their family is entitled to death benefits through their workers’ compensation insurance. These benefits include up to $3,500 in funeral costs and 70 percent of the employee’s weekly wages paid to the family or beneficiary, for the full extent of the statutorily-mandated maximum time period.
Trenton Worker’s CompensationLawyers
The Attorneys at Cohen & Riechelson have years of experience handling injury and worker’s compensation claims and working with insurance companies to ensure the best possible outcome for clients in towns such as Trenton, Princeton, Lawrence, Hamilton, and across Mercer County, New Jersey.