What Is the Definition of “Employee” for New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Purposes?
If you are a worker in New Jersey, you may be wondering whether or not you qualify as an “employee” for New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits: if you are, then your employer must provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage for you. In this article, New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer Dan Matrafajlo will explain how it’s determined whether or not you’re an “employee.”
The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act uses a very broad definition of “employee”—in fact, the term is more broadly construed than it is in the New Jersey Unemployment Compensation statute and the Internal Revenue Code. This means that sometimes, what you might normally think would not qualify as an employer-employee relationship actually does qualify under the workers’ compensation statute. In addition, even if there is a contract or other formal agreement that says that you are not an employee, it will not be the final word on whether or not you have an employer-employee relationship.
In determining whether or not a worker is an “employee,” the New Jersey courts have two tests.
The first test is the “control test,” where the court will look at the relationship between the person and the business involved. If the business has the right to supervise the individual and control what and how something is to be done, then there is an employer-employee relationship.
The second test is the “relative nature of the work test,” where there is an employer-employee relationship if the person relies on income from the business and if the individual’s work is an “integral part” of the business’s activities.
Generally, New Jersey considers domestic workers and farm workers to be “employees” for workers’ compensation purposes, while individual contractors are not. Seamen, maritime workers, railroad workers, and federal employees are covered by the federal workers’ compensation scheme, not the state one.
If you’ve been injured in a work-related accident, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. For a free evaluation of your case, contact dedicated workers’ compensation lawyer Dan T. Matrafajlo today.