Workers’ compensation insurance penalties in New Jersey

New Jersey’s worker’s compensation statuses were amended on October 2008 by a series of bills signed by then-Gov. John Corzine, which intended to strengthen the system and set penalties that can levied levied against participants who run afoul of the systems requirements.

What are the requirements?

An employee in new Jersey must satisfy its obligations to injured employees under the Worker’s Compensation Law either by purchasing an insurance policy or by obtaining authorization to self insure by fulfilling certain filing requirements.

What exactly does this law do?

For starters, this statute makes an employer who fails to provide the protection prescribed by law  guilty of a disorderly person’s offense.  If the employer knowingly fails to provide insurance, the employer shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.  The penalty for these crimes is a criminal conviction!  A disorderly person’s offense does not require a formal indictment and is less serious than a misdemeanor, however, someone convicted can face a fie up to $1,000 and six months in jail!  A fourth-degree crime is more serious yet- it is not a violation, but a crime in the same class as reckless endangerment and aggravated assault.  A conviction of a fourth-degree crime can subject someone to a $10,000 fine and 18-months imprisonment.

What if you don’t own the corporation, are you still responsible for making sure the insurance is being provided?

Maybe.  Where the employer is a corporation, any officer who is actively engaged in the corporate business such as the president, vice president, secretary and treasurer can be liable for failure to provide the required insurance coverage.

Any other stiff penalties you need to look out for?

Yes, there are noncompliance money penalties that grow larger with the time you remain out of compliance with the law. If the division of Worker’s Compensation finds that an employer has failed, for a period of more than 10 consecutive days, to make provision for compensation payments as required by law, the division shall impose a penalty of up to $5,000 and, if the period exceeds 10 days, an additional penalty of up to $5,000 for each subsequent period of 10 days will be imposed.

New Jersey is really serious about making sure workers are protected.  You as the employer will end up paying for an injured worker.  The employer is responsible financially for the worker’s benefits.

“Choosing insurance is a tremendous responsibility, and we are delighted to assist in that process. We consider your needs personally, and intelligently.”