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New Jersey Workers' Compensation Law Blog

New Jersey legislature makes progress on COVID presumption bill

New Jersey has been one of the country’s largest outbreak epicenters during the global health crisis. Home to a predominant international airport, this state was hit hard in the early stages of the virus’s entry into the U.S. Since then, the state has been trying to retroactively respond to the ricochet effect this emergency has caused.

While other states have been comparatively quick to pass laws that protect essential workers in the face of this new threat, New Jersey’s efforts have been somewhat stagnated. However, this week, the legislature made some promising progress to provide pandemic-related workers’ compensation to frontline workers.

Needle sticks still a risk for healthcare workers

Hospitals and other healthcare settings are dangerous workplaces. Volatile patients and family members, exposure to bodily fluids, heavy lifting and the need to respond on the fly can all result in serious work-related injuries and illnesses.

A cause of much concern in the 1980s during the AIDS epidemic, needle-stick injuries no longer receive the attention that they did in the past. However, a poke from a needle still carries the risk of contracting HIV, hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases. Medical professionals whose skin is punctured by a used syringe or intravenous needle should be aware of their rights under the workers’ compensation system.

Habits that can improve your mental health in the workplace

In our last post, we examined the increased rates of mental anguish in the workplace in recent months. We discussed why employers should care about employee mental health – and the steps they can take to support their workforce.

In honor of Brain Health Awareness month, it also seems worthwhile to discuss what steps individuals can take to improve their own mental and cognitive health.

Workplace stress on the rise, according to recent study

Mental health issues are often stigmatized in our society. Physical health ailments are viewed as real, while the legitimacy of mental health problems is often questioned. Yet with the pervasiveness of mental health issues in this country, that shouldn’t be the case.

The workplace can be a source of mental health issues – including stress, anxiety and burnout. How employers support the mental health of their employees can make the difference between a happy, productive workforce and an overwhelmed, ineffective one. Caring for workers’ wellbeing is especially critical during the current pandemic – which has led to severe social isolation and economic disruption.

Amazon sued for failing to comply with public safety orders

Amazon has been the subject of considerable scrutiny in recent months. In the midst of a global pandemic, it is one of the few corporations in the world that is not only surviving – but thriving more than ever.

But as profits for the retail giant continue to rise, so has the coronavirus infection rate of warehouse workers around the U.S. There have been growing reports of health and safety concerns, and workers are claiming that Amazon is taking inadequate safety measures to protect them.

Is Amazon doing all it can to protect its employees from COVID-19?

Amazon has become one of the country’s largest employers in recent years. Warehouses have popped up in every state, as the country has collectively begun to rely on the convenience and fast delivery of the online retail giant over brick-and-mortar alternatives.

In the face of the current pandemic, shelter-in-place orders are forcing more Americans to turn to online delivery for all of their purchases – from milk to toilet paper. This trend is putting even more strain on the millions of essential workers who fulfill and deliver these orders. Yet Amazon has faced harsh criticism for its inadequate efforts to protect its workers’ health.

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).

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