Happy New Year! As we begin the new year and the second half of the 2022-23 legislative session, there are several labor issues that remain top of mind for the business community.

NJ WARN Act

A4768/S3162 (Quijano/Cryan) passed through both chambers of the Legislature last month and is currently on Governor Murphy’s desk awaiting action. This legislation would make revisions of the “Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Jobs Loss Notification Act” – also known as the NJ WARN Act – active 90 days following the effective date of the bill. As you may recall, P.L. 2019 c. 423 was signed into law in January of 2020 but was not implemented after subsequent legislation was signed to pause the start date due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Key provisions of the original WARN Act that would take effect include requirements to provide 90 days instead of 60 days advance notice in the event of a mass layoff and mandated severance pay for workers. NJBIA was pleased to secure the 90-day effective window in the bill in order to provide better ease of compliance for employers. We hope to work with the sponsor on potential clean-up legislation to address some of the liability and other concerns the business community had with the original bill during this 90-day window.

Temporary Workers Bill of Rights

NJBIA continues to oppose A-1474/S-511 (Lopez/Cryan) which creates new regulations regarding temporary workers. It failed to pass in the Senate for a third time last month. Following Governor Murphy’s conditional veto, this legislation will require temporary workers to be paid the average rate of compensation and receive the cash equivalent of the average cost of benefits as employees of the third-party client company doing substantially similar work. Additionally, the bill includes a private right of action provision, will increase liability on third-party companies utilizing temporary workers and would bar temporary help service firms from charging any fees for providing a transportation benefit to temporary workers. We encourage members who have concerns with this legislation to continue reaching out to Senate Democrats to express their opposition. More information on the bill can be found here.

90-Day Retention of Service Employees

NJBIA strongly opposes  S-2389/A-4682 (Singleton/Schaer) which would require a wide range of covered employers to retain service employees for 90 days following a change of ownership in their service contracts. This legislation broadly defines service employees to include security, food service, front desk, maintenance, and janitorial staff, among others. More information on the bill can be found here. The bills advanced out of the Senate Labor Committee last month without recommendation due to concerns raised by members regarding criminal penalties for employers included in the bill. The bill advanced out of the Assembly Labor Committee by a vote of 5-3-1 with Assemblymembers Catalano, Space and Swift voting no and Assemblyman Sampson abstaining. A-4682 has been second referenced to the Assembly State and Local Government Committee. We will continue to raise opposition to this legislation and encourage any members with concerns to reach out to the sponsors and leadership. We will be circulating a coalition letter for associations to sign on in opposition soon. Please contact Alexis Bailey if you would like to be included in the letter.

Other Bills to Watch

We remain engaged on and are closely monitoring several other bills impacting labor policy in New Jersey and legislation mirroring trends we have seen in other states, including:

  • A-822/S-723 (Timberlake/Codey)- Creates “New Jersey Domestic Bill of Rights Act”
  • S-2741/A-4282 (Zwicker/McKnight)- Prohibits discrimination on basis of height or weight under “Law Against Discrimination”
  • A-3937 (Moriarty)- Requires transparency concerning compensation with promotional opportunities and employment listings
  • A-4285 (Timberlake)- Requires certain salary, compensation and benefit information to be included in certain job postings
  • S-1926/A-4909 (Zwicker/Jaffer)- Regulates use of automated tools in hiring decisions to minimize discrimination in employment
  • A-4985 (Jaffer)- Extends family leave protections to certain employees following death of family member
  • S-1410/A-3715 (Cryan/Moriarty)- Limits certain provisions in restrictive covenants and enforceability of restrictive covenants

Upcoming Event: Meet the Decision Makers with DOL Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo Jan. 27th

NJBIA is hosting a hybrid Meet the Decision Makers Event with NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo at our office in Trenton on January 27 at 8:30 a.m. The Commissioner will share updates on issues impacting the business community such as the Department’s strategic enforcement initiatives and workforce development efforts. You can register to attend here.

NJ Pathways to Career Opportunities Survey

The New Jersey Community College Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development and NJBIA are seeking employer input as part of the New Jersey Pathways to Career Opportunities Program. The brief questionnaire, focused on the value of various industry-recognized credentials within your organization, takes just minutes to complete and is critical to helping inform our education partners of employer perspectives on training and qualifications. The survey can be accessed by clicking here, and we encourage you to share this questionnaire with the rest of your network to elicit additional feedback.

Please do not hesitate to contact Alexis Bailey at abailey@njbia.org if you have any questions or concerns regarding the bills outlined above or other policy priorities you may have. We hope to see you at our MDM on the 27th!

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