When a person who lives in New Jersey suffers a work-related injury and files a Workers’ Compensation claim to cover their medical costs and related expenses, the claims process is very different than it would be for someone injured while working in a state like California. That’s because each state has its own Workers’ Compensation system.
In New Jersey, Workers’ Comp claims are handled by the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation, which is overseen by the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Nearly every worker who performs services for wages within the state is eligible for Workers’ Comp benefits, but the amount varies based on several factors, including the severity of the injury or illness and the amount of the employee’s weekly pay rate. Moreover, NJ Workers’ Compensation benefits are capped under state law.
NFL Workers’ Compensation Dispute: Different Benefits in Different States
In some other states, the caps on Workers’ Comp benefits are higher, allowing injured employees to potentially receive greater compensation. For example, the Los Angeles Rams, a National Football League (NFL) team, recently moved from Missouri to California. Despite the move, the professional football team’s owners are seeking to get players to agree to be governed by Missouri Workers’ Comp laws, not California Workers’ Comp laws, because the benefits are capped at a lower amount in Missouri.
The contracts submitted to Rams players specifically stated that players would agree that “the exclusive jurisdiction for resolving Workers’ Compensation related claims shall be the Division of Workers’ Compensation of Missouri.”
The NFL Players Association (NFLPA), the labor organization that represents pro football players in the U.S., responded to the Rams ownership group’s efforts by instructing all Rams players, and their agents, to reject the inclusion of the Missouri labor law clause in the contracts. The NFLPA specifically cited the fact that the Rams relocated from Missouri to California, changed their team name to the Los Angeles Rams, held off-season workouts in California and planned to play their home games for the 2016 season in a California stadium. At this time, the dispute about which state’s Workers’ Comp laws will govern the players remains ongoing.
For additional information, read the Deadspin.com article, “The NFLPA Caught the Rams Trying to Short Players by Writing Missouri Labor Laws into Contracts.”
Keep in mind that some New Jersey employers and their insurance carriers will use every trick in the book to minimize their liability and reduce the amount of Workers’ Compensation coverage that they have to provide to employees. That’s why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified Workers’ Compensation attorney if you have suffered a work-related injury or illness. The experienced Workers’ Comp lawyers at Team Law can help you get the benefits you are entitled to. Contact us today for a free consultation.