Family and Medical Leave Act: Sorry, New Jersey

By September 12, 2007General

We spelled out some of the abuses in the Family and Medical Leave Act in posts yesterday (here and here), prompting some commentary at NJ Business Matters, the blog of the good folks at the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey.

Things are looking very, very expensive for business in the Garden State.

When legislators and candidates are out pandering asking for your vote this fall, one of the issues they are certain to bring up is Paid Family Leave. Regular blog readers already know the NJ proposal would allow employees from companies of all sizes up to 10 weeks of paid time off to care for a sick family member, newborn or newly adopted child. Remember that NJ is already one of about six states to offer paid maternity leave, which would be in addition to PFL and New Jersey would become only the second state with a paid leave mandate.

A list of state legislative efforts to expand/require paid family leave is available here, a website from an activist group that is pushing for a larger government role in the economy and management of businesses.

Our New Jersey friend asks the obvious question:

The New Jersey program is more expansive than FMLA in that in its current form, it would allow for part-time workers to utilize the benefit (anyone earning $143 per week for 26 weeks in fact) and it would apply to companies of all sizes – FMLA offers an exemption to those with fewer than 50 employees.

Given that, isn’t it time we fix FMLA before heaping another requirement on NJ’s employers?

In CNBC’s recent rankings, Top States for Doing Business, New Jersey did OK, overall — 15th. But in the cost-of-doing-business category? Forty-fifth. You can see why.

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