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In most states injuries suffered by employees in parking lots almost always call into question employer premises, coming and going rules, and whether a worker was in the course and scope of their job at the time.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy aimed to clarify matters on Jan. 10 by signing legislation that puts an employee on the clock upon arriving on property operated by the employer. An article analyzing the issue was the third most read workers compensation-related article of the year on Business Insurance’s website.
Lawmakers said the intention of S.B. 771 is to prevent such rulings as a 2014 New Jersey Supreme Court decision — Hersh v. County of Morris — that found not compensable the injuries suffered by a worker who was struck by a vehicle in an employer’s parking lot. A little more than a week after the bill was signed, the New Jersey Supreme Court found compensable injuries suffered in a similar accident.
In Florida, however, an appellate court on March 10 ruled in Aquino v. American Airlines that an airport worker was not entitled to benefits for an injury that happened while walking through the terminal to a shuttle bus stop.
Facing a similar issue regarding an employee injured in a parking lot, the Oklahoma Supreme Court on June 2 said a worker who was severely injured crossing a busy highway to get to work can sue his employer because the injury did not occur in the scope of employment and “is covered by tort law” if there is just cause.