Legislation to expand New Jersey’s paid family leave law was held by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today.
S-2528, which had been expected to receive a vote this afternoon, would double the length of time employees could take leave from work from six weeks to 12 and increase the income benefit they would receive while they were out. It also would include more small businesses, requiring those with only 30 employees or more to comply. Current law only applies to businesses with 50 or more employees.
“Small businesses are already scrambling to comply with a new paid sick leave law and new reporting requirements under a new pay equity law,” NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Mike Wallace told the committee. “In light of these and other cumulative costs on small and medium size businesses through current legislative efforts and in the proposed budget, we strongly urge our policymakers to take a pause and assess the impact this legislation and other policy initiatives will have on New Jersey’s business climate.”
New Jersey is already one of only four states that have implemented a paid family leave law, and the benefits are already very generous. 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 the legislation lowering the exemption threshold from 50 to 30 employees, more small businesses will be adversely impacted.
While the bill was held today, it could be rescheduled for a vote at any time.