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The Legislature voted today to approve a bill, supported by NJBIA, that would streamline the working papers process for students and help businesses fill open seasonal positions more quickly during the current labor shortage.

The legislation, S-3115 /A-4804, sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal (D11) and Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-11), would waive the requirement that minors appear in-person to obtain working papers from school districts during a declared state of emergency, which often closes schools. Instead of being physically present, the minor would be allowed to appear remotely using audio visual technology.

During the New Jersey Business Coalition’s recent Town Hall on the hiring crisis, seasonal businesses expressed their frustration about delays in obtaining work permits for teenagers because some school districts that remain closed due to COVID-19 are not processing the required paperwork.

The legislation would also prohibit school districts from charging students for the physical exams that are required for working papers to be approved, and further states that a high school physical is valid for the entire time a teenager remains enrolled at that school.

The bill was approved 37-0 by the Senate and 72-0 by the Assembly and now goes to the Governor’s desk.