In return, the business could save on the 65 percent upfront cost of contributing to the employee's COBRA health benefit, as well as the long-term cost of higher state unemployment insurance payments. Businesses face payroll tax increases due to the depletion of the state's Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.
Trenton Bill encourages employers to cut hours, not workers State would pay unemployment compensation to make up difference A. Ferrandini By ANDREW KITCHENMAN For ElainE Emiliani, vice president of Calculating benefits administration for Union-based Emiliani Unemployment insurance covers 60 Enterprises, this has been a difficult year. percent of workers’ pay, up to a maxi- Her business laid off workers for the mum benefit of $584 per week. As an first time in its 54 years, and she has over- example of how the program would seen cuts that have affected every depart- work: An employee paid $600 per ment and level of worker for one of the week whose hours were reduced by state’s largest distributorships of profes- 20 percent would see a $120 drop in sional hair care products. pay from the employer — but would But a bill now making its way through the receive $72 in unemployment com- Legislature would allow her flexibility so that pensation from the state. her business could reduce full-time workers’ Workers who participate in the hours, instead of laying them off. program would have to be able to em- The bill, approved unanimously by the ployed full time. u Emiliani Enterprises wants to cut expenses without resorting to more layoffs. Elaine Emiliani, center, vice presi- Senate Labor Committee earlier this month, - Andrew Kitchenman dent of administration and show resources, meets with co-owners James Emiliani, left, and Domenic Emiliani. would create a program in which employ- ers who reduce workers’ hours by at least 10 If the bill is enacted, New Jersey would it would allow “companies to not have to man Sen. Fred H. madden Jr. (D-Washington) percent would commit to sustaining fringe join a growing number of states with similar make those really hard decisions about lay- as a fellow sponsor. Madden said the state benefits and not hiring more workers. The state “work share” programs. ing people off.” would save on more than lower unemployment would pay unemployment compensation to “There would be savings across the board, Businesses face payroll tax increases due insurance costs, because laid off workers rely workers to partially make up for their lost pay. not to mention the morale” improvements, to the depletion of the state’s Unemployment on a range of state safety-net programs. In return, the business could save on the Emiliani said. Her business already is looking Insurance Trust Fund. Karrow said the bill would The bill was referred to the Senate Budget 65 percent upfront cost of contributing to the to avoid further job cuts. After reducing its help the fund, because employees would receive and Appropriations Committee. Karrow said employee’s CoBrA health benefit, as well 425-employee staff by 50 in multiple rounds fewer benefits under the work share program she hopes it can be enacted as soon as possible as the long-term cost of higher state unem- of layoffs since last July, it has turned to a 5 than if they were laid off. so that residents and businesses can benefit. ployment insurance payments. The program percent pay cut. “This is an economy recovery bill to help The bill has the support of the New Jersey would be open to employers with at least 10 The measure was introduced by Sen. companies and employees survive,” she said. Business & Industry Association. u full-time workers. marcia a. Karrow (r-Flemington), who said Karrow gained Labor Committee chair- E-mail to email@example.com Workshop reveals growing interest in Main Street als from the workshop back to township officials for consideration. “From there, we’ll see how much commu- nity support we’ll have,” Aubourg said, adding Christina Mazza Many towns interested, but few that it would be a challenge to provide continu- certain they can afford to hire ing funding for the district. a full-time executive director Main Street participants are expected to
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