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Thirty years ago, New Jersey enacted its Family Leave Act (FLA), which requires certain employers to provide up to 24 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for an employee to care for a loved one who is ill. For 29 of those years, the law only applied to businesses with 50 or more employees. That changed last year when the state expanded its leave laws, and it now impacts any New Jersey business with 30 or more employees.

In other words, thousands of small businesses now have to worry about complying with the New Jersey Family Leave Act for the first time.

If history is any indication, there will be problems. Leave laws in general give HR professionals big headaches, and that’s especially true in New Jersey because we have so many of them.

A seminar on complying with leave laws has been an annual staple of NJBIA’s events planning for years. But with so many businesses never having been subject to leave laws until now, we scheduled two this time around—one in North Jersey on Feb. 26 and one in South Jersey on March 6. If you belong to any of the 28 chambers of commerce that have joined our ChamberLink partnership, you can attend either seminar at the NJBIA member price.

Would you know what to do if an employee came to you with an FLA request? Would your supervisor or manager know how to handle it? Do you have the right forms in your office? As with so many of these types of laws, following the rules is imperative and breaking them, even unknowingly, can lead to hefty fines.

So take the time to educate yourself about the changes to the Family Leave Act by coming to one of our leave laws seminars.

Now here’s a look at the networking opportunities offered next week by many of our ChamberLink members.

  • The Capital Region Minority Chamber of Commerce will hold its latest Network Before 9 event Feb. 18 at The Simple Greek in Hamilton.
  • The Hunterdon Chamber’s Lead Exchange Central will be on Feb. 19 at its headquarters in Flemington.
  • The Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce will hold a small business seminar on How to Leverage your Office 365 Investment on Feb, 19 and its Monthly Networking Meeting on Feb. 20. Both events are at its headquarters in Lyndhurst.
  • The Greater Westfield Chamber will hold Networking Happy Hour on Feb. 18 at the Westfield Ballroom.
  • The North Jersey Chamber of Commerce will hold its Crunch Lunch networking event Feb. 18 at the Midland Brew House in Saddlebrook.
  • The Cape May County Chamber of Commerce is inviting people to a ribbon cutting for Gordman’s Store in Seaville Feb. 18.
  • The New Jersey LGBT Chamber of Commerce will hold a Wine and Cheese Mixer 18 at The Chelsea in Clinton.
  • The Somerset County Business Partnership is hosting a seminar on Hiring a Foreign Worker: What you Need to Know 19 at its headquarters in Bridgewater.
  • The Camden County Chamber’s Professional Women’s Network is holding a DIY Craft Night 20 at Nailed It DIY Studio in Marlton.
  • The Newark Regional Business Partnership’s New Jersey Devils Networking will be held during the Devils game against the San Jose Sharks on Feb. 20.
  • The Jamesburg Monroe Chamber of Commerce will hold a networking luncheon 20 at Villa Laura in Monroe.
  • The Gloucester County Chamber is going beyond networking with Business Beyond Networking on Feb. 21 at Rowan College’s Business & Corporate Center in Sewell.
  • The Hudson Chamber of Commerce’s monthly networking meeting Breakfast Club will be held Feb. 21 at the W Hotel in Hoboken.
  • The Monmouth-Ocean Development Council will tackle the issue of offshore wind during its monthly member luncheon Feb. 21 at Branches Catering in Long Branch.