Today, the full Assembly is scheduled to vote on a measure that would require employer notification when relocating call center services to a foreign country, and would bar employers who move these type of operations from benefiting from financial resources from the state.

The bill sponsored by Assembly members Connie Wagner and Tim Eustace would require any employer that relocates a call center (or transfers one or more facilities or operating units comprising at least 30 percent of a call center's total operating volume of telephone calls or emails or other electronic communications when measured against the previous 12 month average volume of those operations) from the state to one or more foreign countries to notify the commissioner of labor and workforce development at least 120 days prior to the relocation or transfer of operations.

"Jobs are being lost and customer service jeopardized as companies move their call centers overseas," says Wagner. "Companies have a right to invest elsewhere if it benefits their bottom line, but they should not be able to benefit from financial resources from the state when they do. That help should be limited to those who contribute to our economy. You can't have your cake and eat it too."

The legislation would require the labor commissioner to compile and maintain a list of all employers that provide the notification required by the bill and any employer that is added to the list would be ineligible to receive any direct or indirect State grant, guaranteed loan, tax benefit, and any other financial support for the three years following the date upon which the employer is added to the list.

Eustace explains, "This bill is intended to protect New Jersey jobs and ensure New Jersey taxpayers aren't providing their hard-earned tax dollars in the form of grants, incentives, or loan guarantees to companies that are taking money out of our state economy, not to mention compromising customer service for our residents, by sending their call center jobs overseas."

Under the bill, any employer in violation of the notification requirement would be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $10,000 for each day the notification is not made.

"New Jersey has an unemployment rate above 9%," says Seth Hahn, political and legislative director with the Communications Workers of America. "Hundreds of thousands are looking for work, and yet we are allowing companies who do business with the state of New Jersey and who take hundreds of millions of dollars from New Jersey taxpayers to ship jobs overseas that American workers are ready, willing and able to do."