Welcome to John Burton’s Workers’ Compensation Resources. We offer access to data, research, and other information pertaining to workers’ compensation in the United States and other countries when possible. Visit the following areas of our site for more information:

Site Updated October 23, 2020


John F. Burton Jr.
56 Primrose Circle
Princeton, NJ 08540-9416

Phone: 732-274-0600
FAX: 732-329-6528 (New in July 2017) (Please notify by phone or email before sending a FAX.)


Instructor: John F. Burton Jr.

March 25, 2021

A one-day course on the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Law will be taught in a distance learning format (over the Internet) from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  on the date shown above.  The course will discuss (1) which employers and workers are covered? (2). which injuries and diseases are compensable? (3) what medical benefits are provided to disabled workers? (4) what cash benefits are provided to disabled workers or to the dependents of workers killed on the job? (5) what the procedures for collecting benefits? (6) can the injured worker sue the employer or a third party in a tort suit?

The course is designed for persons with little or no background in workers’ compensation.  Most of the students are union members or others responsible for providing advice to injured workers. However, the course usually includes representatives of employers responsible for the handling of workers’ compensation claims or lawyers involved in the workers’ compensation program.

The instructor has a law degree (LL.B) and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.  He taught courses on workers’ compensation and related topics for many years.  He in now an Emeritus Professor in the School and Management Relations at Rutgers University.

For more information on the course and to register for the course use this link: https://smlr.rutgers.edu/content/ewl-certificate-course-offerings


Debate on Workers’ Compensation

By John F. Burton Jr. and Stephen J. Adler

Fall 2017

There are three components to this entry.  The Table of Contents of Volume 39, Number 1 (fall 2017) of the Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal can be downloaded here: Front391. The two articles are available on the website with permission of Matthew W. Finkin, General Editor of the Journal.  The article by John F. Burton Jr., “Is the Work-Related Test Desirable for All Diseases that Disable Workers?” can be downloaded here: 247-272.  The articles by Stephen J. Adler, “Should the Proposed WDPA Replace Work-Related Tests for Occupational Diseases?” can be downloaded here: 273-284.

National Developments in Workers’ Compensation

By John F. Burton Jr.

December 2017

Article at pages 53-66 of the Winter 2017 Issue of Workers’ First Watch, which is published by the Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG).  The article can be downloaded here: National Developments in Workers’ Compensation

New York Workers’ Compensation Guidelines for Determining Impairment

Analysis by John F. Burton Jr. 

December 2017

The New York Workers’ Compensation Board issued a draft of Workers’ Compensation Guidelines for Determining Impairment on November 22, 2017.  The proposed Guidelines have serious deficiencies in part because the draft provides a confusing discussion of the purposes of workers’ compensation cash benefits.  The draft also confounds the purposes of cash benefits and the operational approaches used to determine the amounts of those benefits.  The draft also fails to provide evidence justifying the changes in the Guidelines from the previous edition published in 2012. My comments, submitted to the Board on December 22, 2017, can be downloaded here: Burton Analysis of November 2017 NY WC Impairment Guidelines V03

Workers’ Compensation: Overview and Issues

By Scott D. Szymendera

February 2020 (Updated Version)

Scott is an Analyst in Disability Policy at the Congressional Research Service.  A report prepared for members and committee of Congress by the Congressional Research Service.  An excellent brief (26 pages) introduction to workers’ compensation.  The report can be downloaded from https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R44580.pdf

The Impact of Investment Income on Workers’ Compensation Underwriting Results

By Aaron Brandenburg, Amy Fitzpatrick, David Keleher, and John F. Burton Jr. 

October 2017

Published by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in October 2017.  The NAIC has taken over the publication of the series of reports on underwriting results previously written by John Burton and published in the Workers’ Compensation Resources Research Report.  The NAIC study indicates the importance of  investment income on understanding the profitability of the workers’ compensation insurance industry.  The NAIC data are available both for the national (countrywide) level and for individual states.  The report can be downloaded from the NAIC website

Employment Law: Cases and Materials (Sixth Edition)

By Steven L. Willborn, Stewart J. Schwab, John F. Burton Jr., and Gillian L.L. Lester

September 2017

A case book used in law schools and programs in labor relations or human resource management.  Part VIII deals with Workplace Injuries and Diseases, and includes chapters on Workers’ Compensation, The Occupational Safety and Health Act, and Rethinking the Approaches to Workplace Safety and Health. The casebook is published by the Carolina Academic Press (CAP).  Here is a link to the CAP webpage with a description of the publication.  Here is a link that can be used by a Professor teaching a course on employment law who would like to receive a complimentary copy of the publication:  http://www.cap-press.com/compform.php?booknum=8194  In addition, here is a link for the scholar or practitioner who would like to order the publication with a 10% discount. http://www.cap-press.com/cart.php?add=8194

Improving the Interaction Between the SSDI and Workers’ Compensation Programs

By John F. Burton Jr. and Xuguang (Steve) Guo

April 2016

The study is a chapter in SSDI Solutions: Ideas to Strengthen the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, which was published by Infinity Publishing with support from The McCrery-Pomeroy SSDI Solutions Initiative, a Project of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.  Each of the 16 chapters in the book (including the study by Burton and Guo) can be downloaded without charge from www.ssdisolutions.org.

Workers’ Compensation Resources Research Report

Issue 10, September 2015

This issue provides the latest data on the employers’ costs of workers’ compensation.  National data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) are presented for the private sector for 1986-2014 and for all non-federal employers for 1991-2014.  The national data for all non-federal employers from BLS are compared to similar data from the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI).  The issue also contains BLS data from 2014 for variations among employers’ workers’ compensation costs by region, industry, firm size, and occupations.  Download WCRRR Issue 10 Order Form.   Please note: As of July 1, 2016 Issue 10 is available without charge if you submit an Order Form requesting a PDF file sent as an attachment to an email.  Disregard the payment information shown on the Order Form.

Workers’ Compensation Resources Research Report
Issue 9, June 2015

This issue contains the first in a series of issues that provide an Overview of Workers’ Compensation.  Part I discusses the origins of workers’ compensation in the U.S. early in the 20th Century, the objectives of a modern workers’ compensation program, and a brief description of the current program.  Part II examines the coverage of employers and employees by current workers’ compensation programs.  Part II also examines which injuries and diseases are compensable.  Download an order form for Issue 9 of the WCRRR here.  Please note: As of July 1, 2016 Issue 9 is available without charge if you submit an Order Form requesting a PDF file sent as an attachment to an email.  Disregard the payment information shown on the Order Form.

Opinions on the Future of Workers’ Compensation from the IAIABC Journal
Two articles published by the IAIABC Journal: “Should There Be a 21st Century National Commission on State Workers’ Compensation Laws?” by John F. Burton , Jr. and “The Case for Workers’ Recovery” by Robert Wilson, can be downloaded here.

The Lack of Correspondence Between Work-Related Disability and Receipt of Workers’ Compensation Benefits 
Emily A. Spieler and John F. Burton, Jr. American Journal of Industrial Medicine; Vol. 55 (2012): pp. 487-505
Data from surveys of persons with disabilities were used to estimate the proportion of disability due to work-related injuries and diseases.  Studies examining the proportion of workers with work-related disabilities who received workers’ compensation benefits were reviewed. Many persons with disabilities caused by work do not receive workers’ compensation benefits. Legal restrictions and other factors explaining the lack of receipt of workers’ compensation benefits were examined. The solution to this problem, such as providing healthcare to workers regardless of the source of injuries and diseases, are complicated and controversial, and will be difficult to implement. Download this article here.

The Growth in Applications for Social Security Disability Insurance: A Spillover Effect from Workers’ Compensation
Xuguang (Steve) Guo and John F. Burton, Jr. Social Security Bulletin; Vol. 72, No. 3 (2012): pp. 69-88.
The determinants of applications for Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) were examined. The data were observations for each state (approximately 45 jurisdictions, depending on the year) for each year between 1981 and 1999. The study first reproduced findings of previous studies of the determinants of DI applications.  The study then tested for the additional influence of changes in workers’ compensation benefits and eligibility rules on DI application rates.  The findings indicate that the programs are interrelated. When benefits declined and eligibility rules tightened in workers’ compensation programs in many states in the 1990s, the DI application rates in those states increased. Download this article here.


Workers’ Compensation Policy Review:  The Workers’ Compensation Policy Review ceased publication in December of 2008. The final issue contained a “Letter from the Editor.” Read the letter.  Issues of The Workers’ Compensation Policy Review can be downloaded without charge, click here to explore.

National Commission on State Workmen’s Compensation Laws:  The National Commission on State Workmen’s Compensation Law submitted its report to the President and Congress in July 1972. Long out of print, The Report of the National Commission on State Workmen’s Compensation Laws can be downloaded here.  Articles in the 1972 National Commission by John Burton, Chairman of the Commission, and John Barth, Executive Director of the Commission, were contained in the July/August 2004 issue of The Workers’ Compensation Policy Review. Click here for a copy.