Trenton, December 21, 2023: New Jersey Citizen Action appreciates the Assembly for their commitment to ensuring NJ working people can access paid family leave when needed. Unfortunately, bill A5166/S3825 that passed does not achieve that intention. Instead, it leaves out more than one million workers and perpetuates the confusing patchwork of eligibility for job protections and paid leave benefits, for both employers and employees, creating unnecessary barriers to the program,” said Dena Mottola Jaborska, Executive Director of New Jersey Citizen Action.
The Assembly bill moves the threshold of eligibility for job protection under the Family Leave Act to five employees at a firm, down from the previous employee threshold of 30. Unfortunately, the size of a firm is only one factor affecting a worker’s eligibility for job protection. Other eligibility criteria must be addressed by the Legislature to ensure coverage by those who remain carved out of access to job-protections when they need to take the paid family leave benefits that they are entitled to and have contributed to.
“We are urging the Assembly and Senate to build on what has been advanced and make further amendments to the bill to expand job protection to the million workers left out and clear the confusion so the program can work for everyone. There is still time in this session to make these important fixes to the bill and accomplish job protection for those who need it just as nine other states with paid leave programs already do,” she added.
New Jersey Citizen Action is a statewide advocacy and empowerment organization that advances social, racial and economic justice for all, while also meeting the pressing needs of low- and moderate-income New Jerseyans through education and direct services.