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NJBIA strongly supports legislation released by a Senate committee on Monday that makes permanent new working hours for minors and greatly improves the process for teens to obtain working papers.

The Senate Budget and Appropriation Committee voted uanimously to release bill S-2796 (Gopal, D-11) and its identical Assembly counterpart, A-4222 (Freiman, D-16). The full Assembly already passed A-4222 earlier this month.

“This bill is a win-win-win that will help employers find more workers, provide teens work more hours and more pay and help New Jerseyans avoid longer summer waits and lines,” said NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Christopher Emigholz, who took the lead in helping establish the legislation with sponsors.

“At the same time, there is some urgency to get this bill to the Governor’s desk and signed by June 30. The quicker this bill becomes law, the sooner we can improve workforce capacity at summer tourism locations, local restaurants, grocery stores this summer and beyond,” Emigholz said

The bill’s provisions include:

  • Permanently expanding the work week for 16- and 17-year-olds from 40 to 50 hours
  • Allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to work up to 10 hours per day in the summer instead of up to 8 hours per day
  • Adding more flexibility to break requirements
  • Allowing a one-time parent opt-out from working late summer hours
  • Making some of these requirements take effect immediately

The bill also replaces a cumbersome and antiquated working paper process per job with a one-time, online authorization system that is easier for minors and employers to navigate. It removes school and doctor permission requirements, as New Jersey is the only state that requires both. It also creates an advisory council with parents and employers to oversee the new process.

“We thank Senator Gopal for sponsoring this bill on the Senate side and ask the committee today to advance this bill to help teens get jobs more easily and gain valuable work experience with more hours and pay, while also helping all of New Jersey avoid longer lines and waits during the summer,” Emigholz said.