If you are an employee of a business, then that business is clearly profiting from your labor; otherwise, they would never have hired you in the first place. Because you would not be doing your daily activities if it were not for your employer, New Jersey law views your employer as financially responsible for all costs that result from injuries associated with your labor.

Because medical costs stemming from injuries can be extremely expensive, and because many employers might not be able to afford them, businesses are required by law to purchase state-subsidized workers’ compensation insurance, which covers their workers and the costs of medical care and other expenses caused by any on-the-job injuries that befall them. This way, if a serious injury happens, employees can get money to pay for medical care, and in some cases, receive money to cover lost wages and other costs.

In this respect, workers’ compensation exists to protect both you and your employer, since in many cases, neither you nor your employer will have the funds necessary to cover the expenses associated with a serious injury. More importantly on this note, if you discover that your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, you may want to report them immediately — even consider leaving the job site — because if you are injured, you could be in danger of not having access to medical care. You can report uninsured employers by calling the New Jersey Office of Special Compensation Funds, or by filling out a “Report of Non-Compliance” form.

Unfortunately, workers usually don’t discover their employers are uninsured until after it’s too late and they have already suffered injuries. In these cases, the employers are often liable for the costs associated with the workers’ injuries, but injured New Jersey workers may need to contact an attorney to help them get the financial compensation they are owed.

Source: New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, “Injured Workers,” accessed Sep. 14, 2016