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Are minors injured in a work-related accident eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits in New Jersey?

Under the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act, minors are eligible to receive benefits for work-related injuries and illnesses. The state child labor laws govern the employment of children under the age of 18 years old. They limit the total amount of work hours minor children can have and restrict the kinds of jobs that workers under 18 years old can have.

In New Jersey, minors must have an employment certificate for each employment. They may get the certification form from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the New Jersey Department of Education or the Issuing Officer of the school district the minor resides. In addition to the minor’s personal information, the form has an employment section to input the name and location of the employer, the work schedule and wage, and the minor’s job title. The employer must agree to and sign a Promise of Employment statement, which says that it offered the hours listed to the child. By signing the statement, the employer also asserts that the minor’s work hours may change but not more than what the law allows.

If a minor has a workplace or work-related accident, the exclusive remedy for benefits in New Jersey is workers’ compensation. Under state law, an employer must have workers’ compensation insurance that covers its employees for job-related injuries. An employee less than 18 years old has the same benefits and protections as adult employees.

When minors submit workers’ compensation claims, the employer or insurance carrier denies or approves the claims. If employees disagree with the decisions, they have two years from the date of the injury to file a formal petition with the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation.

After the workers’ compensation hearing, the judge makes a decision based on the evidence presented. The trial judge may rule in favor of the injured minor and award the workers’ compensation benefits. Employers face legal consequences for violations of the child labor laws and the New Jersey requirement for the employment of minors. If the minor suffered a work-related injury while illegally employed, the employer must pay double the amount of the compensation listed under state law.

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