On Thursday, June 22, the Assembly is scheduled to vote on legislation to expand New Jersey’s Paid Family Leave program – a change NJBIA opposes because it will make it more difficult for you to run your business and potentially lead to tax increases to cover the added cost to the program.

The legislation, A-4927, would increase employee benefits, expand the number of people who can take leave and double the length of time employees can be away from their jobs from six to 12 weeks. The projected price tag for these changes in 2016, according to the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services, would have been $236 million—a $147.3 million increase over the $88.7 million spent on Family Leave benefits during that year.

Expanding the number of weeks an employee can be out and increasing their benefits, all without adjusting the current payroll tax, will deplete the fund, and the state will be looking at more taxes to pay for the program. Requiring short-staffed businesses to cover for an employee on a 12-week leave will be disruptive and expensive for the business community.

Furthermore, a provision lowering the exemption threshold from 50 or more employees to 20 or more employees is a significant change to the current law that will have a negative impact on small businesses.

This legislation, if enacted, will harm small business, hurt economic growth, and make New Jersey less competitive with other states. Please click here to send a letter to your Assembly representatives urging a NO vote on expanding Paid Family Leave.

If you have any questions, please contact Mike Wallace, Director of Employment & Labor and Federal Affairs at mwallace@njbia.org.

3 responses to “Tell Your Legislators to Vote No on Expanding Paid Family Leave”

  1. This policy will cause a hardship for us in running our business.

  2. A. Keels says:

    Family paid leave is too much of a cost to small business. We are still required to offer health insurance. It is too much.

  3. Steph says:

    VOTE YES! Paid family leave IS possible for businesses of all sizes. Progressive policies such as A-4927 allow for ample recovery and bonding time for both mother and father. Greater gender equity in the home enhances mothers’ attachment to the workforce and success on the job. Policies such as this cultivate an atmosphere where employees can thrive professionally without sacrificing essential family obligations.

    Comprehensive policies like A-4927, place a strong emphasis on work-life balance. Studies show that providing such policies improves a company’s ability to recruit and retain talent, lowering the cost of employee turnover, as well as boosting morale and worker productivity. Other studies conclude that paid leave had either “no effect, or a positive effect on their businesses.”

    New Jersey should be a leader in expanding paid leave for families, not claiming a damage for businesses because the evidence is just not there.

    If you’d like additional reading on the economics of policies like this, I’ve included links for you below.

    A study done by the Center for Economic and Policy Research found that an overwhelming majority of California business owners surveyed said it didn’t affect their company’s performance or profitability. Eighty-nine percent reported either positive or no negative effects on productivity, turnover (93%), and morale (99%).

    In New Jersey, a 2012 Rutgers University survey of 260 businesses found that most employers hadn’t had any employees who had taken advantage of the leave. But of those that did, 69 percent reported that paid leave had no effect or a positive effect on their businesses.