An industry association representing large employers urged New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday to veto an Assembly bill that would increase paid leave benefits as well as expand the state’s definition of a family member under FMLA.
In a letter to the governor, whose term ends in January, the ERISA Industry Committee argues that the bill “would do nothing more than add to the patchwork of state paid family leave laws,” noting that “most large, multistate employers already offer some of the highest-quality paid leave plans to employees, and should therefore not be subject to this bill.”
The Democrat-sponsored Assembly bill, which passed a senate vote on Monday, would increase the maximum number of weeks a Garden State resident can receive benefits from six to 12 and would raise the value of those benefits from two-thirds of a worker’s average weekly wage to 90%. It would also alter the state’s paid family leave laws, which have been in effect since 2009, to expand the definition of “family member” to include siblings, parents-in-law, grandparents and grandchildren.
In the letter, Bryan Hum, a retirement and compensation policy associate at the ERISA Industry Committee, notes that amending the law “would mean employers have to once again adapt, adjust and restructure their paid leave policies. This process is not only timely, but can be financially and administratively taxing; especially for large employers that operate in most, if not every, state.”
“What happens in New Jersey doesn’t stay in New Jersey,” Hum says. “Employers know what works best for their workforce and their industry.”
Multi-state employers, especially those who have offices in the Tri-State Area, will be required to take on a bigger financial and compliance burden under the bill, Hum says.
“The change itself is not all expansive, but that means more HR, more personnel, more miniscule things,” he says. “It’s just a consistency issue.”
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