Category Archives: New Jersey

New Decision Expands the Boundary of Employment in New Jersey

A frequent issue that arises in New Jersey workers’ compensation cases is whether or not the petitioner is an employee or an independent contractor. In a recent case, decided October 26, 2018, The appeals panel in New Jersey answered this question in a case involving a cab dispatching service. After trial, the Workers’ Compensation Law Judge dismissed the claims of Julio Pendola against Milenio Express finding that Pendola was not Milenio’s employee despite the fact that the alleged employer had never paid the alleged employee. On appeal the Appellate Division reversed. Here’s why.

Facts From the Trial

The trial judge found that Pendola, a cab driver, was not employed by Milenio because:

  • Pendola supplied his own car.
  • Pendola supplied his own equipment, like the two way radio used to dispatch him.
  • Pendola owned the “medallion” on the cab (the license to operate as a taxi);
  • Pendola paid for his own gas, maintenance, and insurance on his car.
  • The Petitioner was not paid by the company and in fact paid the company $150 per week for the dispatched fares.
  • the Claimant testified that he never shared or remitted any portion of fares to the company; he kept 100% of all fares.

Against all of that, Pendola argued that he was an employee for the following reasons:

  • Pendola testified that he had provided driving services exclusively to Milenio since 2003.
  • Before he purchased his car, a Ford Crown Victoria, he consulted with Milenio who required he paint the car silver, affix the taxi company logo to it, along with the Company’s phone number.
  • The company provided Pendola with business cards, receipts, and vouchers.
  • Pendola also claimed he only picked up passengers from location when dispatched by the company.
  • Pendola testified that the company required his to be well dressed, keep his car clean, and promptly pick up fares. The company punished drivers who failed to follow those basic requirements by not sending them dispatches for a few hours or the rest of the day.

The Appeals panel reversed, finding that Pendola was the employee of Milenio. Read more to find out why. Continue reading New Decision Expands the Boundary of Employment in New Jersey

Video: Defending Med & Temp Motions in New Jersey

Employers lose control of medical in New Jersey when they are unsuccessful in defending a Motion for Medical and Temporary Disability Benefits. Attorney Greg Lois discusses these common motions and provide an overview of the strategies used to defend them. This presentation includes a discussion of the recent decisions, stemming from Motions for Med & Temp, that led to medicinal marijuana being ordered in two recent cases.

Continue reading Video: Defending Med & Temp Motions in New Jersey

Video: Medical Marijuana in New York and New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Claims

Attorneys Tashia Rasul and Greg Lois discuss the recent case law developments in New York and New Jersey workers’ compensation cases involving medical marijuana. They cover the practical aspects of defending claims where medical marijuana is available, what standards the courts use when authorizing the use of marijuana, and practical aspects of paying for a substance that is on the Federal controlled substances list.

Continue reading Video: Medical Marijuana in New York and New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Claims

New Jersey Announces 2019 Benefit Rate Change: $921 Per Week

The New Jersey Department of Labor has announced that the maximum workers’ temporary disability compensation benefit rate for 2019 will be $921.00 per week and the minimum rate will be $246 per week. These rates take effect for new injuries occurred on or after January 1, 2019. Benefit rates in cases with dates of loss prior to January 1, 2019 do not get this higher rate – New Jersey does not have a cost of living increase for established claims. Continue reading New Jersey Announces 2019 Benefit Rate Change: $921 Per Week