An unfortunate reality is that workers often get injured while on the job; sometimes, employees sustain work-related injuries while employed at a place for a very short period of time. Many employees often wonder if they are entitled to workers’ comp benefits if they are fresh on the job and/or still in an initial probationary period. The short answer to this inquiry is yes.
In New Jersey, almost all workers are covered (i.e., protected) under the state’s workers’ compensation laws. In a nutshell, that generally means that if an employee is injured on the job, he or she is entitled to certain benefits such as the payment of any medical bills incurred as a result of the injury, lost wages resulting from the injury, temporary and/or permanent disability benefits (if applicable), and partial or full disability benefits (if applicable). And, while a workplace injury is never fun, the good news is that regardless of how long an employee has been working for a particular employer, he or she is entitled to workers’ comp benefits.
There are, however, a few important things to keep in mind if you received a workplace injury as a new(er) employee.
Whether a newbie or a seasoned employee, you must follow the proper (and timely) procedure for filing a workers’ comp claim.
It is important to remember that the clock starts ticking as soon as you suffer a workplace injury. The first thing you must do as soon as practicably possible after receiving initial emergency treatment (if necessary) is to notify your employer. If you are a new employee, you may not know with whom to speak. Workers’ comp regulations provide that you may notify your supervisor, a member of the HR department, a manager, someone in the personnel office, or someone else in authority; you may do so verbally or in writing. You must notify your employer no later than 90 days from the date of your workplace injury.
In addition to notifying your employer no later than 90 days after you get hurt, you must also initiate your claim with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development – Division of Workers’ Compensation within two years of your date of injury.
The workers’ comp legal team at Petro Cohen, P.C., has the experience necessary to help you file a successful workers’ comp claim, regardless of how long you have been on the job. Contact us today to discuss your options.
Your time on the job may be relevant to the amount of lost wages you receive.
If you are in a training or probationary period during which your salary is less than what it will be if you successfully make it through said period, the amount of compensation you receive for lost wages may be reduced. Unlike unemployment benefits, however, you do not have to work any set number of hours with an employer in order to be eligible for workers’ comp benefits such as payment of medical bills, disability determination, and any possible settlement amount.
No matter how new you are to a job, you cannot be fired simply by claiming workers’ comp benefits.
If you’ve just started a new job, you may be afraid that your new employer will fire you if you claim workers’ comp benefits. However, under New Jersey Law, employers cannot terminate an employee for filing and claiming workers’ comp benefits. This is true even during an employee’s probationary period. However, after you reach an end to your medical treatment, the law does not obligate an employer to continue your employment if you cannot perform your job duties.
For more information regarding New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits and claims, click here or call Petro Cohen, P.C. today at (888) 675-7607.