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  • Dean Smith

New Jersey Firefighter FIRED for Shoveling Snow While Receiving Workers' Compensation Benefits

Proper timing and experienced surveillance investigators are two of the workers’ compensation industry’s greatest assets. According to an article by Fausto Giovanny Pinto of, a Paterson, NJ firefighter has officially been fired after surveillance efforts proved fruitful; he was caught shoveling snow while out of work and collecting workers’ compensation benefits.

Surveillance footage documented Reyes shoveling snow, bending, lifting and carrying (which we assume were certainly restrictions) while on leave. What’s even more alarming is that Reyes was a 25-year veteran of the fire department and earned $148,922 per calendar year.

Fire Captain James Reyes’ termination followed a court decision from early February 2017 regarding charges brought against him by the city. He was charged with conduct unbecoming of public employee and dishonesty in relation to a workers’ compensation claim.

The decision has been made as part of Paterson’s city-wide crackdown on fraudulent workers’ compensation claims, and this case in particular, according to, is allegedly being referred to the Passaic County Prosecutor’s office for criminal prosecution.

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