2009 New Jersey Code
TITLE 34 - LABOR AND WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION
34:15
34:15-49 - Jurisdiction of division; salaries, qualifications, tenure of judges, etc

34:15-49  Jurisdiction of division; salaries, qualifications, tenure of judges, etc.

34:15-49. a. The Division of Workers' Compensation shall have the exclusive original jurisdiction of all claims for workers' compensation benefits under this chapter.  The judges of the Division of Workers' Compensation shall hereinafter be appointed on a bipartisan basis by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to initial terms of three years at an annual salary, for the first year, in an amount equal to 75% of the annual salary of a Judge of the Superior Court.  During the initial three-year term, each judge shall be subject to a program of evaluation developed by the Director of the Division of Workers' Compensation.  Upon receipt of a satisfactory annual evaluation from the director, the annual salary of a nontenured judge shall be increased to 78 2/3% of the annual salary of a Judge of the Superior Court after one year; 81 2/3% of the annual salary of a Judge of the Superior Court after two years; and, after three years and upon tenure as provided pursuant to the provisions of this section, the annual salary of a tenured judge of compensation shall be 85% of the annual salary of a Judge of the Superior Court. Reappointment of a judge shall be by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate.  The director's evaluations shall be made available to the Senate Judiciary Committee if the candidate has been renominated by the Governor.  Upon confirmation after the initial three-year term, a judge of the Division of Workers' Compensation shall have tenure, and shall serve during good behavior.  All judges of compensation appointed prior to the effective date of P.L.1991, c.513 shall continue to have tenure and shall continue to serve during good behavior.  The annual salary of the director shall be 89% of the annual salary of a Judge of the Superior Court.  The Chief Judge of Compensation shall be the Director of the Division of Workers' Compensation and may be known as the Director/Chief Judge of the division.

In addition to salary, a judge of compensation regularly assigned as an administrative supervisory judge of compensation by the director shall receive additional compensation of $2,500 per annum during the period of such assignment; and a judge of compensation regularly assigned as a supervising judge of compensation by the director shall receive additional compensation of $1,500 per annum during the period of such assignment.

Judges of compensation shall not engage in the practice of law, shall devote full time to their judicial duties, and shall have been licensed attorneys in the State of New Jersey for 10 years prior to their appointments.  The director of the division shall have the same qualifications for appointment and be subject to the same restrictions as a judge of compensation.

All judges of compensation shall be retired upon attaining the age of 70 years, except that any judge of compensation who has retired on pension or retirement allowance may, with the judge's consent, be recalled by the Director /Chief Judge of the Division of Workers' Compensation for service as a recalled judge in the Division of Workers' Compensation. No recalled judge shall serve beyond his 80th birthday.

Upon such recall the retired judge shall have all the powers of a judge of compensation and shall be paid a per diem allowance fixed by the Director/Chief Judge of the Division of Workers' Compensation.  In addition the recalled judge shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses actually incurred by him in connection with his assignment and shall be provided with such facilities as may be required in the performance of his duties. Such per diem compensation and expenses shall be paid by the State. Payment for services and expenses shall be made in the same manner as payment is made to the judges of the Division of Workers' Compensation from which he retired.

b.An increase in an annual salary of a judge or the director under subsection a. of this section that results due to the increase in the salary of a Judge of the Superior Court provided in N.J.S.2B:2-4 as amended in section 1 of P.L.1995, c.424 (N.J.S.2B:2-4) shall not be granted until July 1, 1996.

Amended 1941, c.194; 1969, c.252, s.2; 1973, c.313; 1977, c.314; 1979, c.368; 1991, c.513, s.1; 1995, c.424, s.3; 1999, c.380, s.7; 2005, c.6, s.3.
 

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