New Jersey Child Labor laws restrict the kind of employment, minimum age of those who can work, and the hours that minors under the age of 18 are allowed to work. This link provides the specifics. New Jersey minors in the workforce are covered by the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA), but there are additional rights they are entitled to as well.
First, if the employer has violated the Child Labor Laws, that employer, not its’ insurance carrier, is responsible to pay extra compensation for awards of permanent disability benefits and or dependency benefits over and above the amount of compensation provided for in the WCA. The extra compensation is double the usual benefit payable in accordance with the schedule of benefits.
Second, unlike adults, minors are not barred from suing their employer for negligent acts. Benefits under the WCA are limited to the payment of medical bills and temporary disability benefits while the injured worker is recovering from the injury. It also allows for an award of permanent disability if the injury has a permanent impact on that worker’s life. However, New Jersey workers are not allowed to sue their employer or coworkers in negligence which prevents them from recovering pain and suffering damages. Minors do not have the same restriction. A minor may choose to proceed under the WCA or under theories of general liability. However, if the minor elects to pursue her claim under general liability laws, she is not also entitled to receive an award for permanent disability under the WCA. An election of benefits occurs once the Employee Claim Petition is file with the Division of Workers’ Compensation or the Complaint in Superior Court.
If you are a minor or the parent or guardian of a minor who is injured at work, please call our experienced attorneys at Stark & Stark today for a complimentary, no obligation consultation. We can help you decide what the best course of action is for you under the circumstances of your case.