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Labor and Employment Alert: COVID-19: Take 2 for the New Jersey Legislature’s Proposals for Thousands of Affected Workers

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You can forget everything we wrote about yesterday (including the proposed “Epidemic and Emergency Relief Employment Fund”) as the New Jersey Assembly threw that proposed bill away. Instead, the New Jersey Assembly unanimously approved two different proposed bills, which will be the law if the Senate approves it (which would be Thursday) and the Governor signs it. In a nutshell, the two new proposed bills (A3846 and A3848) would:

  • Create the “Temporary Lost Wage Unemployment Program.” This program would allow persons to claim lost wages due to the coronavirus disease equal to the person’s average weekly compensation during the past calendar year, as well as assist employers who pay wages to workers ordered under quarantine by a licensed healthcare practitioner as a result of coronavirus. The fund would compensate persons for lost wages because of any of the following:
    • Absence from work to care for a family member
    • Absence from work because of his or her own illness
    • Absence from work due to school or childcare facility being closed
    • Other purposes determined by the Commissioner of Labor
  • Make it unlawful to terminate or otherwise penalize an employee who requests time off from work based upon the recommendation of a medical professional that the employee has, or is likely to have, an infectious disease, which may infect others in the workplace. It would also make it unlawful to refuse to reinstate the employee to his or her position held when the leave commenced.

That’s what we know right now – really. We will update you tomorrow with any additional changes or updates to these laws.  We are here for you. If you have any questions about this alert, or any other labor and employment issue, please contact:

Anthony Rainone, Member, Labor and Employment Practice, at arainone@bracheichler.com or 973-364-8372

Matthew Collins, Member and Chair, Labor and Employment Practice, at mcollins@bracheichler.com or 973-403-3151

Related Practices:   Labor and Employment

Related Attorney:   Matthew M. Collins, Anthony M. Rainone