New Jersey Legislative Statutes 34:15-71-34:15-84
Table of Contents
34:15-71. Employer's obligation to injured employee
Every employer, except the state or a municipality, county or school district, who is now or hereafter becomes subject to the provisions of article 2 of this chapter (s. 34 :15-7 et seq.), as therein provided, shall forthwith make sufficient provision for the complete payment of any obligation which he may incur to an injured employee, or his dependents under the provisions of said article 2, by one of the methods hereinafter set forth in sections 34 :15-77 and 34 :15-78 of this title.
34:15-72. Employers not electing benefits of compensation law required to insure
In like manner every employer except the state or a municipality, county or school district who is now or hereafter becomes subject to the provisions of article 1 of this chapter (s. 34:15-1 et seq.) shall forthwith make sufficient provision for the complete payment of any obligation which he may incur to an injured employee or his administrators or next of kin under said article 1 of this chapter.
34:15-73. Proof of compliance
On demand of the commissioner of banking and insurance personally or in writing mailed to the post-office address of the employer by registered mail, the employer shall file with such commissioner on forms prescribed by him proof of compliance with the provisions of this article.
34:15-74. Compensation insurance provided for certain volunteers by municipality or county
34:15-74. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the governing body of every municipality and the committee of every fire district shall provide compensation insurance for special, reserve or auxiliary policemen doing volunteer public police duty, for volunteer firemen doing public fire duty and volunteer first aid and emergency squad workers doing public first aid and rescue duty under the control or supervision of any commission, council or other governing body of the municipality or any board of fire commissioners of such municipality or of any fire district, and the board of chosen freeholders shall provide compensation insurance for county fire marshals and assistant county fire marshals, within the meaning of R.S.34:15-43. Such insurance shall provide compensation for every special, reserve or auxiliary policeman, and for every such fireman or authorized first aid or rescue squad worker or county fire marshal or assistant county fire marshal who shall be a member of any first aid or rescue squad created within the fire company of which he is a member or authorized first aid or rescue squad worker, or composed of members and authorized first aid or rescue squad workers of different fire companies in the same municipality for injuries received while acting in response to any call made upon such squad, for first aid or rescue work, whether such call be made because of a fire or otherwise.
The provisions of this section shall not require the governing body of any municipality or the committee of any fire district which contributes to the support of a volunteer fire company or volunteer first aid or rescue squad serving said municipality or district but located, or its headquarters maintained, without said municipality or district to provide compensation insurance for the members of said company or squad who are covered by compensation insurance carried by the municipality or district within which said company or squad is located, or its headquarters maintained, whenever evidence of such insurance coverage is supplied to or otherwise obtained by said governing body or committee, nor shall the provisions of this section require the governing body of any municipality or the committee of any fire district to provide compensation insurance whenever evidence that a fire company has obtained its own insurance coverage is provided to the governing body or committee.
Except as otherwise provided by this section, the governing body of a municipality or county shall provide compensation insurance for each emergency management volunteer registered with and doing emergency management service on behalf of that municipality or county pursuant to P.L.1942, c.251 (C.App. A:9-33 et seq.), unless the governing body provides workers’ compensation coverage for each emergency management volunteer and has evidence of such coverage or the governing body has received or obtained proof that workers’ compensation insurance coverage for each emergency management volunteer is provided by an emergency management council.
The provisions of this section shall not require the governing body of a municipality to pay for compensation insurance or make reimbursement of any portion of the expense of medical, surgical or hospital treatment for an emergency management volunteer, if that insurance or reimbursement is being furnished by the United States Government or any agent thereof.
Amended 1940,c.108; 1946,c.300,s.2; 1948,c.430,s.2; 1952,c.316,s.1; 1953,c.340,s.1; 1958,c.149,s.2; 1964,c.257,s.2; 1978,c.145,s.2; 1995,c.383,s.2.
34:15-74.1. Compensation insurance by volunteer fire company for volunteer firemen and volunteer first aid or rescue squad workers
Any volunteer fire company may provide compensation insurance for member volunteer firemen doing public fire duty and volunteer first aid or rescue squad workers doing public first aid and rescue duty for a first aid or rescue squad organized within such a fire company. Such insurance shall provide compensation under and by virtue of the article to which this section is a supplement and of article 2, of chapter 15, of Title 34 of the Revised Statutes for every such fireman or authorized first aid or rescue squad worker who may be injured in line of duty, as the same is defined in R.S. 34 :15-43.
Evidence of the insurance coverage authorized by this section shall be provided by the fire company to the governing body of any municipality or the committee of any fire district which contributes to the support and maintenance of such fire company.
L.1964, c. 257, s. 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1965.
34:15-74.2. Compensation insurance by board of education for members of board
Every board of education shall provide compensation insurance for its members covering the performance of their official duties as members of the board and also as members or officers of a county school board federation or of the State Federation of District Boards of Education. All payments of compensation to such board members shall be governed by and be subject to the provisions of this chapter. The premiums therefor shall be paid by the board, and the insurance shall protect such persons from loss by reason of injury or death suffered while in the performance of duty as herein provided.
L.1967, c. 297, s. 1, eff. Feb. 15, 1968.
34:15-75. Compensation for injury, death for certain workers
34:15-75. Compensation for injury and death, either or both, of any volunteer fireman, county fire marshal, assistant county fire marshal, volunteer first aid or rescue squad worker, volunteer driver of any municipally-owned or operated ambulance, forest fire warden or forest fire fighter employed by the State of New Jersey, member of a board of education, special reserve or auxiliary policeman doing volunteer public police duty under the control or supervision of any commission, council or any other governing body of any municipality, emergency management volunteer doing emergency management service, health care workers, public health workers and support services personnel registered with the Emergency Health Care Provider Registry pursuant to section 6 of P.L.2005, c.222 (C.26:13-6) and doing emergency management service for the State, or any volunteer worker for the Division of Parks and Forestry, the Division of Fish and Wildlife, the New Jersey Natural Lands Trust or the New Jersey Historic Trust, shall:
a. Be based upon a weekly salary or compensation conclusively presumed to be received by such person in an amount sufficient to entitle him, or, in the event of his death, his dependents, to receive the maximum compensation by this chapter authorized; and
b. Not be subject to the seven-day waiting period provided in R.S.34:15-14.
Amended 1945, c.74, s.18; 1951, c.276; 1952, c.316, s.2; 1953, c.340, s.2; 1967, c.297, s.2; 1978, c.145, s.3; 1995, c.383, s.3; 1997, c.199, s.3; 2001, c.328, s.2; 2005, c.222, s.34.
34:15-76. Payments to certain volunteers
34:15-76. All payments of compensation to volunteer firemen, county fire marshals, assistant county fire marshals, volunteer first aid or rescue squad workers, volunteer drivers of any municipally-owned or operated ambulance, special, reserve or auxiliary policemen doing volunteer public police duty under the control or supervision of any commission, council or any other governing body of any municipality, or emergency management volunteers doing emergency management service, shall be governed by and be subject to the provisions of this chapter. The premiums therefor shall be paid from the tax levy, and the insurance shall protect such persons from loss by reason of injury or death suffered while engaged in the performance of duty.
Amended 1952,c.316,s.3; 1953,c.340,s.3; 1978,c.145,s.4; 1995,c.383, s.5.
34:15-77. Employer carrying own insurance
Any employer desiring to carry his own liability insurance may make application to the Commissioner of Insurance showing his financial ability to pay compensation. The commissioner, if satisfied of the applicant’s financial ability and the permanence of his business, shall by written order exempt the applicant from insuring the whole or any part of his compensation liability.
The commissioner may from time to time require any employer exempted as herein provided to furnish further statements of financial ability and if at any time it appears to him that any such employer is no longer financially able to carry the risk of compensation liability the commissioner shall revoke his order granting exemption, whereupon the employer shall immediately insure his liability under this chapter in a mutual association or other insurance company authorized to engage in workers’ compensation in this State.
Whenever the commissioner is not satisfied with the financial ability and the permanence of the business of an employer exempted as herein provided, or of a new applicant for exemption, he may consider, and shall have the authority to accept, as evidence of such ability to pay compensation, (a) a guaranty by the parent corporation of such applicant that said parent corporation will discharge the applicant’s liability under this chapter; (b) a separate account or reserve fund, or any deposit thereupon, maintained by an applicant to discharge his liability under this chapter; (c) a surety bond executed by an association or corporation licensed to do business in this State, provided the surety on any such surety bond undertakes to discharge the applicant’s liability under this chapter; or (d) a contract of an employer with an insurance carrier covering liability for a portion of the compensation required under article 2, chapter 15, Title 34 of the Revised Statutes.
Any employer or group of employers exempted as herein provided may for its own protection insure its liability for the payment of any stated loss in excess of $100,000.00 by reason of any single accident or by reason of occupational diseases scheduled in this chapter; provided, that any such contract of insurance shall operate only between the employer or group of employers and its insurance carrier and shall not be subject to any of the provisions of this chapter.
An application pertaining only to a change of name of a presently exempt employer, without any change in the financial structure of said employer, shall not be considered as a new application for exemption under this act.
Pursuant to rules and regulations established by the Commissioner of Insurance, 10 or more employers licensed by the State as hospitals under the “Health Care Facilities Planning Act,” P.L.1971, c. 136 (C. 26:2H-1 et seq.) may make application to the commissioner for permission to enter into agreements to pool their liabilities under this chapter for the purpose of qualifying as self-insurers. An employer member of the approved group shall be classified as a self-insurer.
Amended by L.1968, c. 311, s. 1, eff. Sept. 26, 1968; L.1983, c. 376, s. 1, eff. Nov. 10, 1983.
34:15-77.1. Hospitals; group self insurance; conditions
With respect to any group of employers licensed by the State as hospitals who adopt a plan for self-insurance for the payment of compensation to their employees, at least the following conditions shall apply:
a. Under such group plan, the group shall assume the liability of all the employers within the group under the terms of a trust agreement approved by the commissioner, and pay all compensation for which the employers are liable under Title 34 of the Revised Statutes;
b. When making application to the commissioner for permission to establish a group plan for self-insurance, the group shall present satisfactory proof to the commissioner of its financial ability to pay such compensation for the employers who are members of the group, including a statement of the group’s revenues, their source, and assurance for their continuance;
c. If required by the commissioner, the group shall deposit with the commissioner such types and amounts of securities or surety bonds as the commissioner deems necessary to provide assurance that such benefits as are payable by the group will continue to be paid and that the group will meet its statutory obligations;
d. The commissioner may require the group to file any and all agreements, contracts, and such other pertinent documents as he may deem necessary relating to the organization of the employers in the group:
e. Each group self-insurer, in its application for self-insurance shall set forth the names and addresses of each of its officers, directors, trustees, and general manager. No officer, director, trustee, or employee of the group self-insurer may represent or participate directly or indirectly on behalf of an injured worker or his dependents in any workers’ compensation proceeding.
L.1983, c. 376, s. 2, eff. Nov. 10, 1983.
34:15-77.2. Liability for compensation prescribed by Title 34; bankruptcy of participating employer
Any employer licensed by the State as a hospital who participates in group self-insurance shall not be relieved from the liability for compensation prescribed by Title 34 of the Revised Statutes except by the payment thereof by the group self-insurer or by himself. The insolvency or bankruptcy of a participating employer shall not relieve the group self-insurer from the payment of compensation for injuries or death sustained by an employee during the time the employer was a participant in such group self-insurance.
L.1983, c. 376, s. 3, eff. Nov. 10, 1983.
34:15-77.3. Addition or termination of participating employers; notice
Such group self-insurer shall promptly notify the commissioner, on a form to be prescribed by the commissioner, of the addition of any participating employer or employers. Notice of termination of any participating employer in a group self-insurance plan shall be given to the commissioner at least 10 days before the effective date of such termination of participation. Such notice shall also be sent by registered mail to all other members of the group self-insurance plan.
L.1983, c. 376, s. 4, eff. Nov. 10, 1983.
34:15-77.4. Termination of plan, surety bond; insurance policy
If such a group self-insurance plan is terminated, the securities or surety bond on deposit with the commissioner shall remain in the custody of the commissioner for a period of at least 26 months. At the expiration of such time or such further period as the commissioner may deem proper and necessary, he may accept in lieu thereof, and for the additional purpose of securing such further and future contingent liability as may arise from prior injuries to workers and be incurred by reason of any change in the condition of such workers which warrant awards for additional compensation, a policy of insurance furnished by the group self-insurer, its successor, assigns, or others carrying on or liquidating such self-insurance group.
L.1983, c. 376, s. 5, eff. Nov. 10, 1983.
34:15-77.5. Financial statement; description of service organizations
Every such group self-insurer shall, on an annual basis, or as often as the commissioner deems it necessary, furnish to the commissioner:
a. A financial statement of the group’s assets and liabilities, the claims paid during the preceding 12 months, current reserves, incurred losses, and any other information that the commissioner may require; and
b. A description of the service organizations maintained by the employer or group for the prevention of injuries and claims administration services.
L.1983, c. 376, s. 6, eff. Nov. 10, 1983.
34:15-77.6. Annual Examination
The commissioner may conduct such annual examinations of each such group self-insurer as he deems necessary and proper.
L.1983, c. 376, s. 7, eff. Nov. 10, 1983.
34:15-77.7. Denial of application or revocation of consent
The commissioner shall have the authority to deny the application of any group of self-insurers to pay such benefits, or to revoke his consent for any group continuing to pay for good cause shown, including, but not limited to:
a. Failure to comply with regulations adopted by the commissioner or with any provisions of this act;
b. Failure to comply with a lawful order of the commissioner;
c. Deterioration of financial condition to such an extent that such deterioration would have an adverse affect on the ability of the self-insurance group to pay expected losses.
L.1983, c. 376, s. 8, eff. Nov. 10, 1983.
34:15-77.8. Rules and regulations
The Commissioner of Insurance shall promulgate such rules and regulations, including appropriate fee schedules, as he deems necessary to effectuate the provisions of this act.
L.1983, c. 376, s. 9, eff. Nov. 10, 1983.
34:15-78. Insurance in stock or mutual company; notice filed by company; domestic help excepted
Every employer not operating under section 34 :15-77 of this title shall insure and keep insured his liability in any stock company or mutual association authorized to engage in workmen’s compensation or employer’s liability insurance in this State. If insurance be effected by either method mentioned in this section, the insurance company or mutual association shall file with the commissioner of banking and insurance a notice setting forth the name of the insurance company, its principle office in this State, together with a copy of the policy of insurance and copies of all indorsements attached and such other data in relation thereto as the commissioner of banking and insurance may require except that no such filing shall be required in connection with insurance coverage for domestic servants or household employees written pursuant to P.L.1979, c.380.
Amended by L.1979, c. 380, s. 2.
34:15-79. Penalties for failure to carry insurance
34 :15-79. a. An employer who fails to provide the protection prescribed in this article, who misrepresents one or more employees as independent contractors, or who provides false, incomplete or misleading information concerning the number of employees , shall be guilty of a disorderly persons offense and, if the failure, misrepresentation or provision of false, incomplete or misleading information is knowing, shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree, and shall be subject to a stop-work order issued by the Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation pursuant to subsection e. of this section. In cases where a workers’ compensation award in the Division of Workers’ Compensation of New Jersey against the defendant is not paid at the time of the sentence, the court may suspend sentence upon that defendant and place him on probation for any period with an order to pay the delinquent compensation award to the claimant through the probation office of the county. Where the employer is a corporation, any officer who is actively engaged in the corporate business, including, but not limited to, the president, vice-president, secretary, and the treasurer thereof shall be liable for failure to secure the protection prescribed by this article. Any contractor placing work with a subcontractor shall, in the event of the subcontractor’s failing to carry workers’ compensation insurance as required by this article, become liable for any compensation which may be due an employee or the dependents of a deceased employee of a subcontractor. The contractor shall then have a right of action against the subcontractor for reimbursement.
b. A rebuttable presumption that an employer has established a successor firm, corporation or partnership shall arise if the two share at least three of the following capacities or characteristics: (1) perform similar work; (2) occupy the same premises; (3) have the same telephone or fax number; (4) have the same email address or Internet website; (5) perform work in the same geographical area; (6) employ substantially the same work force; (7) utilize the same tools and equipment; (8) employ or engage the services of any person or persons involved in the direction or control of the other; or (9) list substantially the same work experience. If it is determined that an employer has established a successor firm, corporation or partnership, the “uninsured employer’s fund” shall have a subrogation right against the successor firm, corporation or partnership for any benefits paid pursuant to R.S.34:15-1 et seq. by the “uninsured employer’s fund,” the injured worker may seek benefits not otherwise paid or payable by the “uninsured employer’s fund” from the successor firm, corporation or partnership, and the successor firm, corporation or partnership shall have all of the same responsibilities regarding workers’ compensation required pursuant to R.S.34:15-1 et seq. as the original employer.
c. Failure to produce at the time of the trial or upon written request by the division proof of workers’ compensation insurance coverage by a mutual association or stock company authorized to write coverage on such risks in this State or written authorization by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance to self-insure for workers’ compensation pursuant to R.S.34:15-77, which was in force for the time cited by the division, creates a rebuttable presumption that the employer was uninsured when charged with a violation of this section.
d. The Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation, or any officer or employee of the division designated by the director, upon finding that an employer has failed for a period of not less than 10 consecutive days to make the provisions for payment of compensation required by R.S.34:15-71 and R.S.34:15-72, shall impose upon that employer, in addition to all other penalties, fines or assessments provided for in chapter 15 of Title 34 of the Revised Statutes or in any supplement thereto, a penalty in the amount of up to $5,000 and when the period exceeds 10 days, an additional penalty of up to $5,000 for each period of 10 days thereafter. All penalties under this act shall be enforced and collected in accordance with section 12 of P.L.1966, c.126 (C.34:15-120.3). Failure or refusal to comply with a stop work order issued by the Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation pursuant to subsection e. of this section shall, in addition to any other penalties provided by law, result in the assessment of a penalty of not less than $1,000 and not more than $5,000 for each day found not to be in compliance. All penalties collected under this section shall be paid into the “uninsured employer’s fund.”
e. If the Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation determines, after investigation, that an employer knowingly failed to provide the protection prescribed in this article, knowingly misrepresented one or more employees as independent contractors, or knowingly provided false, incomplete or misleading information concerning the number of employees , the director shall issue, not later than 72 hours after making the determination, a stop-work order requiring the cessation of all business operations of that employer at every site at which the violation occurred. The order shall take effect when served upon the employer, or, for a particular employer worksite, when served at that worksite. The order shall remain in effect until the director issues an order releasing the stop-work order upon finding that the employer has come into compliance with the requirements of this section and has paid any penalty assessed under this section. A stop-work order issued pursuant to this section against an employer shall apply against any successor firm, corporation or partnership of the employer in the same manner that it applies to the employer. An employer who is subject to a stop-work order shall have the right to apply to the director, not more than 10 days after the order is issued, for a hearing to contest whether the employer committed the violation on which the order was based, and the hearing shall be afforded and a decision rendered within 48 hours of the application.
f. The Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development shall, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), promulgate rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this section.
Amended 1938, c.130; 1966, c.126, s.8; 1988, c.25, s.13; 1995, c.393, s.1; 2008, c.94, s.1; 2009, c.87.
34:15-79.1. Proof of workers' compensation coverage required with certain annual reports of employers
1. a. Every corporation, limited partnership, limited liability company, limited liability partnership or other employer required by law to submit an annual report, shall also include valid proof of workers’ compensation coverage, if applicable, as part of the annual report. Without the inclusion of the valid proof of coverage, the annual report is not complete for purposes of filing, the requirement to submit the annual report is not fulfilled, and all requirements concerning the failure to submit the annual report shall apply.
b. For the purposes of this section, valid proof of current workers’ compensation coverage shall be in the form of:
(1) Documentation of a current order from the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance authorizing the employer to be a self-insured employer pursuant to R.S.34:15-77; or
(2) A letter from an insurance carrier or verification from the employer which includes the name of the carrier, insurance policy number and date of commencement of coverage under the policy.
L.2008, c.95, s.1.
34:15-80. Notices of insurance posted
Every employer who has complied with the provisions of this article shall post and maintain in a conspicuous place or places in and about his place of business, typewritten or printed notices in such form as the commissioner of banking and insurance may prescribe stating that he has secured the payment of compensation to his employees and their dependents in accordance with the provisions of this article and shall name the company or companies insuring his liability, or shall state that the employer has qualified before the commissioner of banking and insurance for the carrying of his own liability.
34:15-81. Cancellation of contract; notice
Any contract of insurance issued by a stock company or mutual association against liability arising under this chapter may be canceled by either the employer or the insurance carrier within the time limited by such contract for its expiration.
No such policy shall be deemed to be canceled until:
a. At least ten days’ notice in writing of the election to terminate such contract is given by registered mail by the party seeking cancellation thereof to the other party thereto; and
b. Until like notice shall be filed in the office of the commissioner of banking and insurance, together with a certified statement that the notice provided for by paragraph “a” of this section has been given; and
c. Until ten days have elapsed after the filing required by paragraph “b” of this section has been made.
The provisions “b” and “c” of this section shall not apply where the employer has replaced the contract to be canceled by other insurance, and notice of such replacement has been filed with the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance. In such event the notice required by provision “a” may, if given by the insurance carrier, recite as the termination date the effective date of the other insurance, and the contract shall be terminated retroactively as of that date. No notice of cancellation of any such contract need be filed in the office of the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance where the employer is not required by any law of this State to effect such insurance.
Amended by L.1948, c. 58, p. 145, s. 1.
34:15-82. Liability for injuries or death
An employer securing the payment of compensation by any of the methods prescribed in section 34 :15-78 of this title notwithstanding, shall be liable primarily for the payment of proper compensation for personal injuries or death sustained by his employees. The employer shall have recourse for the amount thereof against his insurance carrier. But the insurance carrier shall be directly liable to the injured employee, or his dependents, in event of the death, insolvency, bankruptcy or other proceedings, as a result of which the conduct of the employer’s business may be and continue to be in the charge of an executor, administrator, receiver, trustee or assignee.
34:15-83. Insurance contract for benefit of employees and dependents
Every contract of insurance covering the liability of an employer for compensation to injured employees or their dependents, written by a stock company or a mutual association, shall provide, or be construed to provide, that it is made for the benefit of the several employees of the insured employer and their dependents, and that such contract may be enforced by any of such employees or their dependents, suing thereon in his or their names as though distinctly made party thereto.
34:15-84. Enforcement of provisions
34 :15-84. Every such contract shall further provide, or be construed to provide, that any injured employee or his dependents may enforce the provisions thereof to his or their benefit, either by agreement with the employer and the insurance carrier, in event that compensation be settled by agreement, or by joining the insurance carrier with the employer in his petition filed for the purpose of enforcing his claim for compensation, or by subsequent application to the Superior Court, upon the failure of the employer, for any reason, to make adequate and continuous compensation payments.
Amended 1953,c.33,s.61; 1991,c.91,s.365.