New Jersey may introduce new measures to protect family leave

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New Jersey employees are currently entitled to a maximum of 12 weeks of leave to spend time with a newborn baby, adopt or foster a child, or provide care for a sick relative. As per the Family Leave Act, employees are assured job security, provided that there are at least 30 employees in their workplace.

The Assembly will discuss a proposal on Monday to broaden the scope of the law, encompassing smaller businesses and establishments as well. If this proposal is passed, it will ensure that workers on family leave are entitled to reinstatement of their employment in companies with 20 or more employees. The following year, this guarantee will extend to companies with 10 or more employees, and after another 12 months, the threshold will be further reduced to include companies with just 5 employees.

The largest business group in New Jersey is far from thrilled.

According to Elissa Frank, vice president of government affairs at the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, mom-and-pop businesses would be particularly negatively affected by the law.

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According to her, requiring companies to keep a position open while an employee is on leave becomes overwhelming and difficult to manage.

According to her, if an employee takes family leave and a temporary worker proves to be a suitable fit for the position, the company will not be able to hire them permanently due to the recent update.

According to Eric Richard, the legislative director for the New Jersey AFL-CIO, it is a matter of fairness to modify the Family Leave Act in order to provide coverage for employees in smaller companies.

According to the speaker, every worker contributes to the paid family leave program through a payroll deduction taken from their paycheck.

Richard expressed his disbelief over the fact that around 1.5 million employees in smaller businesses in New Jersey are hesitant to utilize family leave due to the absence of job security, which allows employers to terminate their employment.

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