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Gavel on paid family leave form.

The Legislature will vote Monday on whether to expand New Jersey’s existing paid family leave law to provide workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave and increase the amount of the benefit. NJBIA opposes the bill because of the potential increased costs to small employers.

The bill would double the length of leave employees can take from six weeks to 12 and increase benefits to 85 percent of a worker’s weekly wages. Businesses with 30 or more employees would also have to provide job protected leave, instead of only those with 50 or more employees under existing law.

“Small businesses are scrambling to comply with increasing employer mandates including paid sick leave and a looming minimum wage increase,” said NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Mike Wallace. “In light of these and other cumulative costs on small and medium-size businesses, we strongly urge our policymakers to stop and assess the impact this legislation and other policy initiatives will have on New Jersey’s business climate.”

New Jersey is one of only four states that have implemented a paid family leave law, and one of only two states that has both paid family leave and temporary disability insurance programs. 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. With more employees utilizing these programs there may also be a negative impact on employers’ TDI rates.