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Expanding New Jersey’s paid family leave law to apply to more small businesses and dramatically increasing benefits is simply too much for companies to absorb, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) said today.

The bill, which has passed the Assembly and is scheduled for a vote today in the Senate, would apply the law to companies with 30 or more employees instead of 50. It would also double the amount of paid leave from six weeks to 12 and increase the amount they can be paid when taking leave.

“Small businesses are already scrambling to comply with a host of new mandates like paid sick leave and will soon have to figure out how to increase wages under the minimum wage law,” said NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Mike Wallace. “Lawmakers should assess the cumulative impact of what all of these new requirements will have on small businesses and jobs before moving more costly mandates.”

Wallace said these provisions would make an already difficult situation worse.

“New Jersey is already one of only four states that have implemented a paid family leave law, and the benefits were already very generous,” Wallace said. “Our employers already have to compete with companies that do not have any paid family leave law to deal with.

“Expanding the length of paid family leave will force small businesses to pay more overtime to workers or hire replacement employees for longer periods of time,” he added. “With the legislation lowering the exemption threshold from 50 to 30 employees, more small businesses will be adversely impacted.”