Trenton—December14, 2023---The NJ Time to Care Coalition and other organizational partners delivered a letter signed by more than twenty organizations urging Senate President Nicholas Scutari and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin to not post or advance A5166/S3825 until amendments are made that will enable all New Jersey workers to take job-protected paid leave.
Currently, the proposed legislation would leave behind more than 1 million New Jersey workers, or more than 25 percent of our state’s workers, including workers who work for employees with five or fewer employees, those not employed with their employer for a year, and those who have not logged 1,000 hours worked or both. Survivors of domestic or sexual violence and those caring for those individuals will also not be helped as the bill stands currently. The carveouts from job protections will impact women workers, low-wage workers and less educated workers who more likely to work for small employers, work part-time jobs, work for multiple employers or switch jobs frequently.
“We are excited and hopeful that the issue of job protection when taking paid family leave is gaining attention and support,” the letter read, while also noting that “Ensuring robust job protection for more New Jersey workers is an issue of equity. We know that white, higher-earning, higher-educated workers are more likely to have job protected, employer provided paid leave benefits and are using the state paid leave program more. While lower earners are paying for a benefit that they are less likely to be able to access.
“It has been fifteen years since New Jersey passed its state’s paid family leave program – it is time to get this right and strengthen job protections for all New Jersey workers who need to take time to care for their recovering, seriously ill or dying loved ones, as well as to bond with new babies and adopted or fostered children."