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New Jersey Workers' Compensation Law Blog

COSH releases “Dirty Dozen” list of worst U.S. employers for 2020

The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) releases an annual report of its “dirty dozen” employers. This list is comprised of the worst-ranked U.S. employers based on factors that compromise the health and safety of workers and the community at large. In addition to the worst 12 employers, this year COSH also called out four more employers in their Dishonorable Mention list.

With the current pandemic at the forefront of many people’s minds, this year’s ranking focuses mainly on employers of essential workers. These employers’ restrictive policies and lack of protective action have demonstrated a disregard for worker health – and have led to unnecessary infections and deaths for many workers.

Exposed to the Coronavirus at Work? Know your rights

Under NJ Workers' Compensation law, if you or a loved one have been exposed to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) while acting within the scope of employment you are entitled to receive medical treatment, lost wage benefits, and a disability award from your employer. If the unthinkable occurs and a loved one passes away from the Coronavirus, then dependents can recover death benefits.

What protections exist for NJ employees returning to work.

Gov. Phil Murphy has modified his previous executive order, which closed all non-essential businesses, construction projects and recreational and entertainment businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting at 6 a.m. Monday, May 18, non-essential retail and construction businesses will be allowed to resume operation. Retail companies can reopen only for curbside pickup, and employees must follow all mitigation requirements by the state.

NJ owner pleads guilty for lying about worker injuries

The owner of a construction company in Somerset County, New Jersey, faces probation and fines for lying to investigators over serious injuries suffered by two of his workers.

Robert Riley – who owns RSR Home Construction LLC in Far Hills – admitted to one count of felony perjury in U.S. District Court after admitting he lied to officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

How worker classification affects your workers’ comp eligibility

You recently took a new job working for a construction company. One day, you took a nasty tumble off a ladder, breaking your leg and causing serious back injuries. Now you’re on bed rest, unable to work. Worried about how you’re going to support your family, you file a workers’ compensation claim.

That’s when you make a shocking discovery. Your employer informs you that you’re not actually eligible for workers’ comp, because you’re only a contractor—not an employee. He shows you the work agreement you signed, which uses the word “contractor” in your job title. But is a label in a contract really enough to classify you?

Solid framework is crucial for support after a loved one passes

Losing a loved one is a life-changing event. The constant support is no longer there, but day-to-day requirements remain. Getting help covering mundane matters after such a loss may be far down the list, but you could get help in maintaining some of the structure you lost.

Injury rates are their highest with young workers, but older employees are the most common victims of a fatal incident. While the cause can vary, falls and fractures were the most common assailants. If you’ve lost a pillar in your life, then you could return some support in the form of workers’ compensation.

What rights do ‘essential’ workers have during a pandemic?

Thousands of New Jersey workers have been laid off or furloughed over the past few weeks in response to the coronavirus pandemic. But thousands of others in public safety roles as well as those in jobs deemed “essential” continue to go to work every day.

Under Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order, people who work in restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and gas stations are considered essential workers. However, they may not be entitled to the same protections as those in public safety roles.

Many common workplace injuries are preventable

The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that in the United States, a worker is injured every seven seconds, which translates to 510 an hour, 12,600 per day, 88,500 per week and 4.6 million every year.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says worker deaths from falls are the second-most common type of fatality behind transportation accidents. Fall injuries, many of which are preventable, account for nearly $70 billion alone in workers’ compensation medical claims each year.

Will workers’ compensation cover PTSD?

Mental stress is common in all job types. Very few workers in the United States escape its clutches. But when it comes to stress that comes from on-the-job injuries or otherwise debilitating events, workers who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may find it difficult to perform everyday working duties.

Even though an estimated 7-8% of Americans will experience PTSD, it is rare that PTSD will warrant an immediate claim award. A dislocated shoulder from a fall at work is a pretty straightforward injury. But mental distress and other related effects are not as easy to prove, nor are they as easy to identify – even when experts are involved.

Postal Service continues to fight decade-old EEOC ruling

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has refused to settle nearly 28,000 claims from injured workers 11 years after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled it illegally fired or discriminated against disabled employees, according to ProPublica.

The EEOC found in 2009 that the service fired or pressured 44,000 injured postal workers to quit. The commission also found that the Postal Service discriminated against thousands of others by changing their work duties and accommodations for disabilities, creating a hostile work environment.

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