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NJBIA opposed a bill before a legislative committee on Monday that would reverse more than 40 years of legislative policy to expand workers’ compensation liability to include worker injuries sustained in off-site parking lots and other areas not controlled by the employer.

The Assembly Labor Committee voted 5-3 to release the legislation, S-771/A-6195.

“An employer has no control over the conditions of an off-site parking lot, cannot determine which route an employee may take or if the employee obeys traffic laws or not, or the actions of any third person, in a vehicle or otherwise, whose actions harm the employee,” said NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Ray Cantor, who testified against the legislation.

“This bill is simply another invitation to increase claims and costs for businesses and nonprofits, which is an unfortunate habit for some of our lawmakers – even as our job providers continue to struggle.”

Cantor added that this bill would disproportionately harm employers in urban areas, where off-site parking for employees is more likely.

“Imposing strict liability for actions beyond an employer’s control effectively, in many cases, punishes a business for providing an employee benefit,” Cantor said. “If this bill becomes law, employers who now cover costs for employee parking at off-site lots may find themselves reluctant to do so due to liability concerns. In that event, both the employee and the employer lose.”