In July of 2019, Governor Murphy signed into law the "Thomas P. Canzanella Twenty First Century First Responders Protection Act," which expanded workers' compensation benefits to "public safety workers" who become ill as a result of exposure to diseases or toxins by creating a presumption that the illness is work-related. Since then, the ongoing COVID-19 crisis revealed some of the fault lines in our economy and healthcare system. Governor Murphy and New Jersey's legislature responded by enacting A-3999/S-2380 (https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2020/Bills/S2500/2380_R1.PDF). Governor Murphy signed the bill into law on September 14, 2020.
COVID-19 has pushed the American healthcare system to its limits. Fortunately, the New Jersey workers' compensation system offers benefits to some workers who likely contracted the virus as part of their employment.
The Families First Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Act was approved by the U.S. Senate on March 18, 2020, and has now been signed into law. This bill will provide paid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, as well as paid sick leave for absences for certain people who have been impacted by the Coronavirus. The law goes into effect on April 2, 2020, and will end on December 31, 2020. It applies to all employers with 50 employees or less. You have to be employed for 30 days to be eligible for these benefits. Here is what you need to know: