Proposed legislation in New Jersey that would extend what constitutes work compensation for tails, travel, and cases in employer parking lots has legal experts expecting movement in other states where such claims are often considered on a case-by-case basis.
S.B. 771, which passed the Senate in New Jersey on Jan. 11 and is now with the ward working committee, would change the ability to compensate for parking spaces, excursions, and falls. The bill states that if an employer provides or designates a parking space for employees, their employment begins when they arrive in the area and ends when they leave it.
At present, most states do not have such guaranteed acceptance of the parking lot. damages due to ownership and maintenance, according to legal experts who say the move could lead to more disputes, a sharp increase in claims and possible fraud.
Parking damage is "an open issue in many states and New Jersey is trying to make it clearer," said Howard Wexler, a partner in the employment process at Seyfarth Shaw LLP in New York. “In the Northeast this time of year, there are many times when employees slip and fall in the parking lot. There would definitely be an increase in the number of (accepted) workers claiming "if the bill becomes law.
" If this gets traction in New Jersey, it is not uncommon for legislation to be picked up in another state, "he said [1
Brian Hammer, a Des Moines, Iowa-based security consultant and standard development president of the American Society of Safety Professionals, said that "when it's over, with operations, you easily talk $ 100,000" about claims costs.
Ioannis S. Athanasopoulos , a partner at Goldberg Segalla LLP in Newark, New Jersey, said that under the current system, such claims are highly dependent on the facts of the case, e.g. electricity if the employee leaves a work-related matter. The New Jersey proposal, he said, violates a generally accepted standard in workers' legislation – the on-the-go rule that says accidents when arriving or leaving work are usually not compensable.
The bill could "open the door to some level of abuse if it passes," Athanasopoulos said, citing allegations in which employees lied about where and when they fell. The bill could be problematic, especially for employer-owned parking lots not adjacent to the workplace. , or which requires walking on a public street – which is not maintained by the employer – to the specified plot, he said.
"This leaves so much more opportunity to bring in an accident that was not work-related," he said. The bill proposes "by the time an employer designates a parking lot, everything on the road would be work-related," he said.
Kitty Boyte, partner at Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete LLP in Nashville, said reforms in Tennessee in 2014. provided that if a worker is on the employer's premises “he or she is under employment and the injury is covered”, the “course of employment” nevertheless takes into account the time, place and circumstances of the injury – pa parameters included in the New Jersey bill.
Parking damages are so "fact-specific (in Tennessee) that every case is different," she said. Catalog