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Workers’ comp available for off-the-book employees

On Behalf of | Jan 16, 2024 | Workplace Accidents

You might be one of many who work in the plumbing, landscaping, HVAC or roofing industries in New Jersey. It is common for employees in these (and numerous other) industries to earn their pay off-the-books. Another term that is often used to refer to this system is “being paid under the table.” You might think workers’ compensation isn’t available if your employer pays you off-the-books.

You’ll be glad to know that is not the case. In fact, New Jersey laws protect all workers by requiring employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. This coverage is not just for a specific group of employees. Benefits are available to all workers who suffer injuries in the workplace.

Proving your workers’ comp claim as an off-the-books employee

When a workplace accident occurs in New Jersey or any other state, any employee who suffers injury may file a workers’ compensation claim. If you’re walking by a row of desks and bump your knee and suffer a minor bruise, it is unlikely that you would file a comp claim. However, if a heavy object falls on you, a machine malfunctions or you’re in a motor vehicle collision at a work site, it is always best to file a claim.

Filing a claim is the gateway to collecting benefits that will cover your medical bills,  replace lost wages and provide you with a monetary award if your injuries are significant.  Details and evidence are key factors to getting a claim approved. One of the basic facts you must establish when filing a workers’ compensation claim is that you were employed at the company when the accident took place.

How to prove employment if your employer tries to deny it

Many employers have been known to deny workers’ comp claims because they claim the individuals who were injured on the job were not employees of their company. Why would an employer do this? It may be because they were paying workers off-the-books to get lower insurance premiums, which are often based on the number of employees on a company’s payroll.

You can prove that you were working for a particular company in several ways. One way is to photograph yourself wearing a shirt with the official company logo on it. If you’re unsure what options are available to prove employment, it’s a good idea to seek guidance from someone who understands New Jersey employment laws and the workers’ comp system.