Legislation strongly supported by NJBIA, which would allow expanded summer working hours for teenagers and simplify the process for obtaining working papers, is now on the governor’s desk after winning final passage in the Senate on Wednesday.
The bill, A-4222, sponsored by Sen. Roy Freiman (D-16), was approved 40-0. The Senate version of the bill S-2796, was sponsored by Sen. Vin Gopal (D-11).
NJBIA worked closely with both sponsors to draft the legislation and move it to the legislative finish line so the changes can be implemented this summer to help working teenagers, employers, and the customers affected by ongoing staff shortages at seasonal businesses.
“The sooner this legislation becomes law, the sooner New Jersey businesses will be able to improve their workforce capacity at summer tourism locations,” said NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Christopher Emigholz, calling it a triple win for workers, employers, and customers.
If signed by Gov. Phil Murphy, the legislation would:
- Expand the work week for 16- and 17-year-olds from a maximum of 40 to 50 hours in summer
- Allow 16- and 17-year-olds to work up to 10 hours a day instead of eight during summer
- Allow more flexibility in scheduling break times for minors
- Allow parents and caregivers to opt out of allowing teens to work late summer hours
The bill would also revamp the antiquated and cumbersome process for obtaining working papers that has been used for decades in New Jersey. School districts would no longer issue paper documents for each new job a student gets. Instead, a centralized database would be established within the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development for employers and minors to register to work.
The expanded summer working hours for 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds would take effect as soon as the bill is signed. It makes permanent the temporary change the state allowed last summer due to workforce shortages. That legal authorization for expanded hours expired on Labor Day 2021.
Changes to the working paper process under this bill would not take effect until June 2023 to give the Department of Labor and Workforce Development time to implement the new centralized data system.