On January 10, 2022, Governor Phil Murphy signed SB771 into law. This bill added new language to the New Jersey Revised Statutes Title 34: Labor and Workers Compensation which specifically covered employer-providing parking and how it relates to workers compensation claims.
Essentially, if an employer provides parking then as soon as the employee arrives on the lot prior to arriving at work they’re at work, even if the parking lot is some distance from the office. So long as the employee travels directly from the parking area to the place of employment upon arrival.
By the same token, once the employee leaves their work site they’re still covered by compensation on the walk from that site to employer-provided parking, so long as they proceed directly to the parking area.
This is a reversal of the previous “coming and going” rule.
This law arose in response to a case, Hersh v. County of Morris, where an employee was struck by a vehicle running a red light while traveling from employer-provided parking to her work site.
The law also states the employee is covered if the employer only designates a parking area, especially if that parking area is not adjacent to the employee’s place of business. It also no longer matters if the employee’s path takes them through public areas.
As is to be expected, the business community is not happy about the change, and you can expect pushback if you try to file a parking lot claim.
There is still a lot of wriggle room in this law for employers to try to deny responsibility for an employee’s injuries. They may try to say that the parking, for example, is just there, and that they did not “provide” it at all. They may argue that a landlord provides the parking area instead, or that they never told employees where to park.
Parking lot claims are especially common in winter, when ice and snow cause a host of slip-and-fall hazards.
In some cases, a parking lot claim could also involve a third party workers compensation claim.
No matter what caused your injuries, you can expect that no party is going to step forward, full of eagerness to do the right thing. They’re going to want to try to do or say anything they can to avoid paying.
That’s where our law office comes in. If you’ve been injured on the job, call us for a free consultation. We’ll help you get the benefits you’re entitled to when you get hurt on the job, whether it’s in a parking lot or at the work site itself.