Workers’ comp bills advance

TRENTON – The Assembly Labor Committee released two bills today regarding workers’ compensation benefits.

A1196: This bill, passed 7-1-1, provides workers’ compensation coverage for any death or disability, including post traumatic stress disorder, if it arises from the impact of stress or injury experienced by a public safety worker engaged in response to a terrorist attack, epidemic, or other catastrophic emergency.

The bill requires employers of public safety workers expected to respond to terrorist attacks or catastrophic emergencies to have programs to provide needed psychological and social counseling for the workers during and after the incidents or emergencies.

Assemblyman Jay Webber voted no; Assemblyman Ron Dancer abstained.

A2756:  This bill, passed unanimously, provides workers’ compensation benefits to surviving spouses of members of the State Police or members of fire or police departments who die in the line of duty during the entire period of their survivorship, even if the spouse remarries. 

Currently, such surviving spouses receive a lump sum upon any remarriage which occurs during the first 450 weeks of benefits.  Under the bill, a surviving spouse will not receive that lump sum, but will instead continue to receive weekly workers’ compensation benefits as long as the spouse lives, even after remarriage and even if the remarriage occurs after the first 450 weeks of benefits.

The Senate passed its version, S1469, in October.

Workers’ comp bills advance