Paid Family Leave Expansion and State IRA Bills Get Floor Votes Today

The Legislature will vote today on whether to expand New Jersey’s existing paid family leave law to provide workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave and increase the amount of the benefit. The family leave expansion bills (A3975; S2528) are scheduled for final approval in both chambers.

The legislation would double the length of leave employees can take from six weeks to 12 and increase benefits to 85 percent of a worker’s weekly wages. Businesses with 30 or more employees would also have to provide job protected leave, instead of only those with 50 or more employees under existing law.

New Jersey is one of only four states that have implemented a paid family leave law.

The “New Jersey Secure Choice Savings Program Act (A4134) is also scheduled for final Assembly approval today. Its Senate companion (S2891) is pending consideration in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

Under the legislation, employees of medium to large companies that do not currently offer a qualified retirement savings program would be automatically enrolled in payroll deduction for a state-sponsored Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Employees would be able to opt-out of the program or adjust their deduction. If an employee fails to set a contribution level or opt-out of the program, the default contribution level is six-percent of the employee’s wages.

The legislation applies to private sector employers. Its provisions are mandatory for companies with 25 or more employees that have not had a qualified retirement plan in place for two years, and optional for companies with fewer than 25 employees or those that have been in business for less than two years.

The minimum wage increase (A15) was on last week’s Assembly Labor Committee agenda but the meeting was canceled for an unrelated reason.  

The NJCUL has worked together with the NJ State Chamber of Commerce, the NJ Business and Industry Association and other business interests to oppose these proposals as well as lobbied for amendments to exempt small and not-for-profit employers.