Legislation Assemblymen Daniel Benson and Wayne DeAngelo sponsored to increase awareness of certain benefits available to workers in New Jersey was approved 45-30 by the General Assembly on Monday.
“Particularly among pregnant workers in New Jersey, benefits intended to help families and promote better work-life balance are underutilized,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “This legislation increases efforts to help employees learn about what’s available to them.”
The bill (A-4166) would amend state law to require employers to issue a single, consolidated Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) notice regarding temporary disability benefits, family leave benefits and related unemployment benefits and workers’ rights under the state “Family Leave Act” and the federal “Family and Medical Leave Act.” Under current law, employers issue two separate notices – one regarding temporary disability and one regarding family leave.
“Recent data shows that an estimated one in three eligible pregnant workers did not receive temporary disability benefits, which suggests that we may need to do a better job of making sure people understand how to take advantage of these benefits,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “These programs are in place to help people balance their personal and professional lives, but they can’t do that unless they know the benefits are available. Consolidating the two existing notices will help increase awareness at no cost to employers.”
The bill also would require LWD to prepare a brochure including the aforementioned information for health care institutions to post in waiting rooms. Health care institutions also must provide patients with the brochure upon their first visit to a facility.
The legislation also calls on the department to prepare a public awareness campaign regarding temporary disability benefits, family leave benefits and related unemployment benefits.