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New bill may help corrections officers hurt at work in New Jersey

If you're hurt at work, the first thing you'll want to do is seek the medical care you need to recover. But, medical care does come at a cost. Now, New Jersey is looking into ways to improve the compensation available to correction officers who may be injured in attacks or while on the job.

In a case discussed in a Feb. 20 report, an injured employee who was injured in an attack at the New Jersey State Prison lent her support to a new bill that would allow a compensation program to be established for corrections officers hurt on the job. When she was attacked, she had already been working at the prison for two years. The attack on Feb. 6 resulted in her suffering from bruising, cuts, and head injuries, according to the news. In fact, the attack was serious enough to make her miss work.

Acknowledging that workers need care, money, and time to recover, state lawmakers have now introduced a bill that could help. It would allow corrections officers to receive their full salaries while they recover, which would alleviate the burden of needing to work and being unable to due to injury. Right now, that isn't how things work, and corrections officers have to take their personal or sick time before benefits from workers' compensation will pay anything. When it does kick in, it still only pays 70 percent of the salary the officer was receiving.

This new bill could help. The state would step in and make up the difference in salary for the first five days an officer has to be off work. After that, the employer would be required to provide payments to make up the 30-percent missing from the coverage from workers' compensation.

Source:, "Corrections officer injured in attack at New Jersey State Prison supports bill to improve compensation" Alyssa Mease, Feb. 20, 2014

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