On Friday, August 10, 2018, Gov. Murphy signed into law a bill which permits the payment of unemployment insurance benefits to striking workers under certain conditions. The bill amends New Jersey’s unemployment insurance law and provides that (1) if a labor dispute is caused by an employer’s failure or refusal to comply with an agreement, contract or collective bargaining agreement concerning hours, wages and other working conditions, and (2) if unemployment is caused by such a labor dispute through a strike or other concerted employee activity, the striking employee is entitled to unemployment benefits after a 30 day waiting period.
However, if the employer does not allow the striking employee to return to work or if the employer hires permanent replacement workers, the 30 day waiting period will not apply. The law further provides for the imposition of a penalty of up to $750 per employee per week of benefits lost which the employer must pay into the unemployment insurance fund.
This new law applies to all New Jersey employers and both union and non-union employees. To read the bill in its entirety, please click here.