Legislation Could Change Workers’ Comp Rules
State lawmakers are considering legislation that would prevent people who get hurt on the job because they are drunk from receiving Workers' Compensation.
Assemblyman Brian Rumpf (R-9) is co-sponsoring Assembly Bill A-779, which he says could potentially save taxpayer money by preventing such claims. But he says that's not the only benefit to the bill.
"It makes the workplace a little bit more safe, by discouraging folks from drinking and becoming intoxicated while at work," Rumpf said. "There needs to be a recognition that if they should hurt themselves, it's going to be on them, their own responsibility."
Under current New Jersey law, Workers' Compensation benefits can still be paid to a person who was drunk at the time of their accident, unless their intoxicated state is determined to be the sole cause of the accident. Rumpf's bill would close what he calls a legal loophole.
"If you were sitting at a desk, intoxicated, you tilt your chair back, fall over and break your arm... you should not receive compensation for that," Rumpf said.
The bill is also being sponsored by Senator Chris Connors (R-9) and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove (R-9) and is currently being considered by the Assembly Labor Committee. Rumpf says similar measures have failed to move forward in previous sessions.