This will be the first entry of many regarding the topic of workers’ compensation in New Jersey. This topic, perhaps more than any other is of particular import to the public safety officer. This is due to the inherent dangers and physicality of police, fire and corrections work. If you are a public safety officer and reading this blog entry, the odds are favorable that you are presently injured and in the workers compensation system; were previously injured at work and went through the workers’ compensation system; or you will be injured in future employment, and will have to go through the workers compensation system. In any event, pay close attention to this series of blog entries as they will answer many of the questions you may have regarding workers’ compensation, and give you an overview of how the system works. 

New Jersey has been one of the leading states in enacting legislation to protect the injured worker. The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act, or a version thereof, has been in effect in The State of New Jersey since the year 1911. Prior to the enactment of The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act, workers who were injured during the time of their employment were forced to initiate litigation against their employer to receive benefits and compensation for the injuries that they suffered in the workplace. The legislature found this particular system to be ineffective due to the fact that litigation of the case would take several years to work its way through the court system, often leaving the injured worker without benefits, compensation, or a means to support his/her family during this difficult period in their lives. Today, filing and settling a workers’ compensation case takes time, however it is normally as lengthy a procedure as litigating a case in the Superior Court of New Jersey.

1979 was a breakthrough year for a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act. Legislative reforms were initiated in 1979 that revamped the entire workers’ compensation system, created a chart of injuries that is currently in use in one form or another, and placed an emphasis on insuring workers with injuries received benefits that were commensurate with the severity of the injuries. Furthermore, the new system initiated in 1979 discouraged workers with minor injuries from receiving disproportionate benefits based upon only their subjective complaints. In the end, the 1979 legislative reforms have led to the workers’ compensation system that is presently in use. Undoubtedly, it is not a perfect system. However it does provide a fair means of compensation for the injured worker. It can best be described as a functional system that enables the injured worker to receive benefits that will hopefully sustain the worker and their family during this difficult period in their lives. 

In our next entry, we will give you an overview of the three types of benefits available under the New Jersey Workers Compensation Act.

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Photo of Frank M. Crivelli Frank M. Crivelli

Frank M. Crivelli’s practice revolves around the representation of over eighty-five (85) labor unions in various capacities, the majority of which bargain for law enforcement entities. He is proud to be called on a daily basis to provide counsel to over 12,000 state…

Frank M. Crivelli’s practice revolves around the representation of over eighty-five (85) labor unions in various capacities, the majority of which bargain for law enforcement entities. He is proud to be called on a daily basis to provide counsel to over 12,000 state, county and local law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS workers.

Mr. Crivelli specializes his individual practice in collective negotiations.  Over the past twenty (20) years, Mr. Crivelli has negotiated well over one hundred (100) collective bargaining agreements for various state, county, municipal and private organizations and has resolved over thirty-five (35) labor agreements that have reached impasse through compulsory interest arbitration.  Mr. Crivelli routinely litigates matters in front of the New Jersey State Public Employment Relations Commission, the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law, third party neutrals for mediation, grievance and interest arbitration, the Superior Court of New Jersey and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Mr. Crivelli founded and created the New Jersey Public Safety Officers Law Blog ( approximately fifteen (15) years ago where he and members of his firm routinely publish blog posts regarding legal issues related to the employment of New Jersey Public Safety Officers.  The blog now contains over six hundred (600) articles and is reviewed and relied upon by thousands of public employees.  Mr. Crivelli has also published books and manuals pertaining to New Jersey Public Employee Disability Pension Appeals and the New Jersey Worker’s Compensation System. Currently, he is drafting a publication on how to Prepare and Negotiate a Collective Bargaining Agreement.  He lectures annually at the New Jersey State PBA Collective Bargaining Seminar, the National Association of Police Organization’s Legal Seminar, the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission Seminar on Public Employment Labor Law, the United States Marine Corps’ Commander’s Media Training Symposium and to Union Executive Boards and General Membership bodies on various labor related topics.

Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Crivelli joined the United States Marine Corps where he served as a Judge Advocate with the Legal Services Support Section of the First Force Services Support Group in Camp Pendleton, California.  While serving in the Marine Corps, Mr. Crivelli defended and prosecuted hundreds of Special and General Court Martial cases and administrative separation matters.  In addition to his trial duties, Mr. Crivelli was also charged with the responsibility of training various Marine and Naval combat command elements on the interpretation and implementation of the rules of engagement for various military conflicts that were ongoing throughout the world at that time. After leaving active duty, Mr. Crivelli remained in the Marine Corps Reserves where he was promoted to the rank of Major before leaving the service.

For the past fifteen (15) years, Mr. Crivelli has been certified as a Civil Trial Attorney by the Supreme Court for the State of New Jersey, a certification which less than two percent (2%) of the attorneys in New Jersey have achieved.  He is a graduate of Washington College (B.A.), the City University of New York School of Law (J.D.), the United States Naval Justice School, and the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation.