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What is the Going and Coming Rule in NJ Workers’ Compensation Law?

Few, if any, employers will compensate an employee for the cost of commuting to and from work. By the same token, workers’ compensation law does not require employers to cover injuries sustained during routine travel to and from the workplace.

This is known as the “going and coming” rule. Yet there are many exceptions to this rule, and it’s important to understand when one of those exceptions may apply to you. 

Exception #1: The Special Mission Exception

Workers’ compensation covers any time the employer requires you to be away from the conventional place of employment, including work travel. It also covers any time you are actively engaged in the performance of employment duties while you are traveling. 

Exception #2: The Travel Time Exception

You receive coverage any time you are:

  • Paid for travel time to and from a distant job site
  • Are using an employer-authorized vehicle while on business authorized by the employer
  • Travel in employer-sponsored rideshare or vanpool.

You are covered if you work outside of the office and must travel throughout your day. Examples include home services professionals who visit homes and businesses to make repairs or outside salespeople who must visit prospective homes or offices to make sales. Employees in this circumstance can take normal work breaks without losing their ability to gain compensation but can’t run personal errands. 

Some employers offer employees compensation for gas, tolls, and wear and tear on the vehicle as a benefit. The 2008 case Scott v. Foodarama Supermarkets established that these benefits do not count as being paid for travel time to and from a distant job site. Actually, paying an employee for that time could protect the commute under this exception. 

Exception #3: The Premises Exception 

According to the 2000 case Brower v. ICT Group, the employer is responsible for injuries on their own premises even if an hourly employee has not clocked in or out yet. However, the employer must own, control, or use the premises somehow. 

As of January 10, 2022, this exception covers parking. According to Title 34, if an employer provides parking, then as soon as the employee arrives on the lot before arriving at work, they are at work, even if the parking lot is some distance from the work site. So long as the employee travels directly from the parking area to and from the place of employment, they remain covered from entering the parking lot to leaving it. 

Need Help?

Workers’ compensation can get complicated; sometimes, your case can hinge on the smallest case facts. 

Contact us to schedule a case review today if you have been denied workers’ compensation benefits. We may be able to help. 

See also: 

Does Workers’ Compensation Cover You if You Are Injured on a Work Trip in New Jersey?

How Travel to and From an Employer-Provided Parking Area Could Impact Your Workers’ Compensation Case

Can You Get Workers’ Compensation in New Jersey While Working from Home?

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The Law Office Of Albert J. Talone
The Law Office Of Albert J. Talone is committed to providing for those with Workers Compensation cases throughout New Jersey.
302 N Washington Ave #101
New Jersey
United States

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