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The New Jersey Business & Industry Association opposes the proposed changes to New Jersey’s Paid Family Leave Act that would expand eligibility, increase benefits, and extend the number of weeks leaves can be taken. The legislation will hurt small businesses and eventually require tax increases to pay for the expanded program.

The bill, S-3085, is before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee this afternoon.

“Expanding eligibility so that more employees can collect Paid Family Leave benefits, increasing the amount of their checks, and extending the number of weeks they can collect those checks will deplete the fund and likely lead to tax increases to pay for it all,” NJBIA President & CEO Michele Siekerka said.

In addition, doubling the amount of time off that employees can take will leave businesses short-staffed for longer periods, which will be especially disruptive to small businesses, Siekerka said.

“Small businesses will have to pay overtime to other workers or hire replacement employees for longer periods of time if this legislation becomes law,” Siekerka said. “This will make it more difficult and more expensive to run a business in New Jersey.”

New Jersey is one of only three states that now have a paid family leave benefit. The others are Rhode Island and California, in addition to the District of Columbia. New Jersey also is one of only six states to even provide temporary disability.

“This legislation will make New Jersey less competitive with our neighboring states and less affordable for the business community,” Siekerka said. “New Jersey needs policies that encourage new businesses and the expansion of existing businesses. Unfortunately, this legislation is one more example of a policy that will drive businesses away from here.”

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