Created: 10 August 2020
Take Action: Tell Gov. Murphy to Veto Workers Comp Bill
We are reaching out to you once again with two asks related to the Workers Compensation legislation currently on Governor Murphy’s desk. This is a significant issue and we really need each individual organization to send a note to the front office opposing this bill. It is imperative that they hear from everyone individually.
The business community was let down by passage of a bill that allows a presumption that certain essential employees contracted COVID-19 on the job and shifts the response costs onto New Jersey’s workers compensation system. Because this will needlessly add costs to employers, we are asking members and business owners to tell Gov. Phil Murphy to veto the bill at it sits on his desk.
The business community was let down by passage of a bill that allows a presumption that certain essential employees contracted COVID-19 on the job and shifts the response costs onto New Jersey’s workers compensation system.
We joined with other organizations and lobbied hard against the bill, as it will force employers to shoulder the increase to premiums at a very difficult time, while irresponsibly leaving federal CARES Act money on the table that is specifically allocated to cover the costs of essential workers who do contract COVID-19 on the job.
The bill, as written, also does not limit the time to a presumption of contracting the illness to when New Jersey’s stay-at-home orders were in place.
The bill is now on the Gov. Murphy’s desk and we are calling on members to ask him to veto the bill.
To take action and request the governor veto the bill, copy and paste the letter below to the following email addresses:
Governor’s Chief of Staff, George Helmy George.email@example.com
and Deputy Chief of Staff, Justin Braz, Justin.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Governor Murphy,
I urge you to veto Assembly bill S-2380 which would create a rebuttable presumption for workers’ compensation insurance purposes that certain essential employees contracted the virus during the scope of their employment.
Currently, an employee has a choice – he or she can either file for NJ workers’ compensation or for federal benefits.
Under this legislation, any employee working at an “essential business” who develops COVID-19 is presumed to have caught the virus on the job and, thus, deemed eligible for all workers’ compensation benefits. The shift in presumption is a change from current statute.
The workers’ compensation system is designed to handle claims when a worker is clearly injured at the job. Unlike traditional workers’ compensation claims, COVID-19 is a global pandemic that we are all trying to understand. Furthermore, it is not clear when and where someone contracts the virus, making it extremely difficult to prove it was contracted at their place of employment.
This change in presumption will raise the cost of my workers’ compensation premiums at a time when my business has been devastated by COVID-19.
I urge you to veto S-2380.