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NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka issued the following statement following Gov. Phil Murphy signing of bill S-315 into law Thursday, which mandates excessive employment conditions in transfer of ownership of healthcare facilities.

“While the intent of this bill is to protect workers who already have protections, it once again strikes no balance for the concerns of the business and healthcare community and may, in fact, result in unintended consequences, like the closure of facilities.

“This law now effectively forces a new owner to accept workers employed under the seller, whether they’re unionized or at-will employees. The new owner must accept wage and benefit terms negotiated by the former owner.

“By requiring future employee layoffs be based on a seniority system, as this law does, a new owner no longer has the flexibility to maintain the best staff, which gives any business their best chance to succeed.

“With the continued consolidation in the healthcare industry, this law will likely have a negative effect on the market, forcing certain facilities to close. This may be particularly problematic in our urban areas, where healthcare facilities have struggled to remain open.”