Paid Leave in New Jersey, Hitting Small Business

By November 9, 2009General, Human Resources

New Jersey’s new paid parental and family leave mandate went into effect July 1. reports on the impact in “‘In a world of hurt’“:

Rich Balka, owner of Trenton-based Home Rubber Co., said he appreciates the concept behind the law. “Anything we can do to benefit our employees is a good thing,” he said.

But Balka said his company doesn’t have enough employees to sustain the loss of anyone for the time allowed by the law.

“We have really no redundancies in our employees at this point,” said Balka, who bought the industrial rubber products maker in 1996. It is one of the few manufacturers left in Trenton.

Since Home Rubber eliminated the jobs of general office manager and purchasing assistant, the remaining office staff is picking up the slack. “If I lose an employee, I’d be in a world of hurt.”

Melanie Willoughby, senior vice president with the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, said she has spoken with many business owners at seminars who remain unsure how the law will intersect with the federal leave law and other requirements. “There is tremendous confusion still among employers,” she said.

This story appeared before last Tuesday’s elections in New Jersey, where voters defeated incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine, who signed the law.

And to employers: Think you’re confused now? From WSJ, “House Bill Introduced to Require Paid Sick Leave for H1N1 Cases.”

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