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New Jersey Senate Passes Bill Expanding Compensation Coverage for Parking Lot Injuries

Senate Bill 771 (NJ S771) was passed in the New Jersey Senate on January 11, 2021 with a proposed amendment to R.S.34:15-36. The bill looks to expand workers’ compensation coverage to parking lot injuries by updating the definition of when employment “commences.”

Under existing laws in New Jersey, a worker’s injury would be compensable if their injuries are “work-related.” Generally speaking, an employee’s work begins when they arrive at work and ends when they depart. Current laws do not explicitly protect workers who are injured in a parking lot owned by their employer or a designated parking area.

There have been numerous cases where parking lot injury claims were denied due to the definition of when work actually begins. Bill 771 looks to expand that definition to include injuries sustained in parking lots used by employees. This would mean an employee’s work actually begins when they arrive in the parking lot at the employer’s place of business.

It would also protect workers who may be injured between the parking lot and the office itself. If, for example, a worker is injured on a public street between the parking lot and the office building, they may be eligible for workers’ compensation.

If enacted this measure will expand and clarify the benefits owed to NJ workers under the workers’ compensation laws.