Parking Lot Cases to be Compensable Under Legislation Sent to the Governor


The NJ Legislature has passed and sent to the Governor legislation that expands workers’ compensation coverage to parking areas provided by an employer.  

Currently, the workers’ compensation law, R.S.34:15-1 et seq., provides that employment commences when an employee arrives at work and terminates when an employee leaves the place of employment. The law excludes any travel to or from the place of employment and the site of any parking area, separate from the place of work, provided by an employer for use by an employee. Therefore, any injury occurring when an employee is traveling between the parking area and the place of employment is not covered by workers’ compensation. 

“The NJ Supreme Court in Hersh v. County of Morris has set forth a two-part test to determine compensability where an employee has been injured off-premises: (1) Where the situs of the accident was; and (2) Did the employer have control of the property on which the accident occurred. A County of Morris employee was injured when she was struck by a car on a public street while walking from a parking garage to her place of employment. The Court reasoned that she was not entitled to compensation, even though the country paid for the injured worker's parking privileges at the garage. The parking space was not part of the premises of the employer, and the employer did not control the garage. The County of Morris only rented a small portion of the spots in the garage. The Court reasoned that the employer derived no direct business interest from paying for parking in the garage. The injury occurred on a public street, not under the control of the County of Morris. Hersh v. County of Morris, 217 N.J. 236, 86 A.3d 140 (2014).”  Gelman, Jon L, Workers’ Compensation Law, 38 NJPRAC 10.5 (Thomson-Reuters 2021).  

This bill provides that an injury that occurs at a parking area provided by an employer for use by an employee or when an employee is traveling directly between the parking area and the place of employment is a compensable injury covered by the workers’ compensation law.

By Jon L. Gelman

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