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For the uninitiated, ChamberLink is a partnership between NJBIA and 17 local business organizations for the mutual benefit of our member companies. We coordinate our activities, join together in advocacy and offer member pricing to our events for our partners.

Betty Boros photo

Betty Boros, NJBIA Chief Member Strategy Officer

As I mentioned last week, NJBIA’s membership is overwhelmingly comprised of small businesses, and I’m willing to bet that’s the case with our ChamberLink chambers of commerce as well.  Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, with more than 30 million firms providing nearly half of the nation’s jobs.

But being a small business owner is a challenge no matter where you live. In New Jersey, well, even more so. That’s why a lot of NJBIA’s seminars and events are geared to help small businesses cope. This fall, we have two scheduled that are especially important—Leave Laws 2.0 and Effective Employee Screening and Performance Management.

Leave Laws 2.0 will take a detailed look at the eight different employee leave laws in effect in our state, including the New Jersey Family Leave Act (FLA). It’s especially important because as of July 1, a new class of small businesses has to comply with it. Previously, the FLA only applied to employers with 50 or more employees, but when Gov. Phil Murphy signed the expansion of the paid family leave act in February, the law also lowered the threshold for FLA to businesses with 30 or fewer employees effective July 1.

The FLA entitles employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a family member suffering an illness or to bond with a newborn. The leave can be taken intermittently and can be coordinated with other leave laws. Suffice it so say, complying with the family leave act is one of the more difficult HR tasks any small business will face. This is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with what is required of you as an employer before one your workers decides to apply for it.

Similarly, did you know it’s now illegal for you to ask a job applicant for her or his salary history? Or that you cannot put a question about criminal records on your job applications? The first is a brand new law, and second has been around for a while. Both are good examples of how government is scrutinizing the way employers hire, fire and promote their employees. At the Effective Employee Screening seminar, we will show you how to reduce your legal liability for gender and racial inequity, and perhaps make your workplace better in the process.

And remember, if you are a member of one of our ChamberLink chambers of commerce, you get NJBIA member pricing!

Speaking of which, here are some of the more local happenings for the next week.