Regrettably, there hasn’t been much state-level good news for small business owners in New Jersey lately—in fact, CNBC recently ranked the Garden State in the bottom third of all states for business, including a rank of 50th for its cost of doing business and 44th for business friendliness.
It isn’t hard to see why when the proposals coming out of Trenton have been an increasing number of mandates, laws, and regulations that make it more expensive and more complicated for small businesses to stay open. It’s all too much, too quickly, but this fall, the push will continue for more labor proposals. Here’s a quick look at some of the top issues on the docket.
$15 Minimum Wage
Raising the minimum wage has been a priority of Gov. Phil Murphy’s since he took office, and during a speaking engagement in late July, he emphasized that this was still on the table, calling it one of the top—if not the No. 1 item—on his unfinished business list.
In an op-ed for NJ Biz, NFIB/NJ State Director Laurie Ehlbeck wrote, “A bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour could be the death knell for small restaurants or other companies with slim profit margins that hire entry-level and teen workers. It would result in cuts to jobs and hours and mean fewer options for those entering the job market.”
Paid Family Leave Expansion
Despite the fact that New Jersey has one of the most generous paid sick leave mandates in the nation, expansion of the program could be pending. JD Supra reported that in June, the Assembly Labor and Budget Committees approved Assembly Bill 3975, which would expand paid family leave insurance from six weeks to 12 weeks as well as increase intermittent family leave insurance from 42 days to 84 days and expand the definition of who is considered a family member.
Finally, another proposal could come that would require employers to solidify employee schedules week in advance or face financial penalties if they change the schedules after that point.