News Department

Gov. Murphy signs pro-worker unemployment insurance benefits bill

Expands Access to Benefits for Workers During Labor Disputes

NEW JERSEY – Governor Murphy Monday signed A4772/S3215, which concerns unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for workers during labor disputes.

This bill addresses certain loopholes that currently prevent workers participating in labor disputes, such as strikes, from receiving access to UI benefits.

“Unemployment insurance benefits should be a universal right for individuals who have recently lost their jobs, are unable to find work, or are currently in the middle of a labor dispute,” Murphy said. ”These benefits are crucial to allow individuals going through this process the support they need to continue to take care of themselves and their families during difficult times. This Administration will continue to stand up for the rights of workers who are the backbone of our state’s economy.”

In particular, the bill amends existing law to:

  1. Permit UI benefits to be distributed to workers during an employer lockout even if a strike did not immediately precede the lockout;
  2. decrease the timeframe from 30 days to 14 days following a strike that UI benefits are disqualified, while allowing for benefits to be paid immediately regardless of the timeframe if replacement workers are hired on either a permanent or temporary basis; and
  3. clarify that there is no disqualification if an issue in the labor dispute is the failure of the employer to comply with an agreement between the parties.

This bill takes effect immediately and will apply to all UI benefit claims filed on or after January 1, 2022.

“Workers dedicate a significant portion of their lives to their careers, and they deserve to be protected financially while expressing their legal right to strike over wages, benefits and workplace conditions,” said DOL Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “This legislation is another example of the value the Murphy Administration places on its workforce.”

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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