Bill encourages employers to cut hours, not workers

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					                    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 akitchenman@njbiz.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
                                                                                                                                                               
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: 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.
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