Plan to save N.J. jobs, workers’ benefits advances in Assembly

Legislation to help New Jersey businesses avoid layoffs has been approved by the Assembly’s labor committee.

The bill sponsored by Assemblyman Paul Moriarty encourages companies poised to reduce their employees’ work hours to share the remaining work instead of making job cuts.

“Instead of saying, ‘I need to lay off 10 of my people,’ they could reduce people’s hours,” he said. “The amount of hours that you reduce the employee, they would be eligible for unemployment insurance.”

The measure also would allow workers to receive partial unemployment insurance benefits if their weekly hours are cut by 10 percent or more.

“They still get their benefits,” he explained. “They still go on and are productive, and they don’t end up on full unemployment and also trying to find insurance for their kids and for themselves.”

Moriarty said the legislation could put a burden on the state’s unemployment insurance fund. However, he said, it’s a small price to pay to give workers some financial security and allow them to keep their health insurance.

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