Gov. Jon Corzine will sign the paid family leave bill into law on Friday in a statehouse ceremony, the governor’s office told NJBIZ. New Jersey will become the second state, after California, to offer workers six weeks of paid leave to care for newborns or seriously ill immediate family members.
Supporters of the bill say it will help workers balance their work and family life. Business lobbyists and other critics argue that employers—especially small ones like doctors’ offices and car repair shops—cannot afford to lose key workers for up to six weeks at a time. The critics say that becoming the first state in the region to mandate paid leave would further damage the state’s image as a place to do business.
In 2007 New Jersey added just 3,700 private-sector jobs, growing only 0.1%. That put the Garden State 41st in the nation. Meanwhile, NJ has already lost 10,000 private-sector jobs in 2008. Adding mandates unique to the state only worsens that trend. Call it subtraction by addition.
The bill is AB873. Here’s the legislature’s description and fiscal analysis. Only $100 million a year. For now.
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