⚫ Business owners in NJ could soon lose the right to make operational decisions

⚫ A proposed measure would require unwanted employees to be retained for months

⚫ NJ’s top business group calls the bill unnecessary and ridiculous

New Jersey lawmakers could soon pass a measure that would stifle an employer’s ability to make operational decisions, and potentially land business owners in jail for making personnel decisions about their workers

The legislation, A4682, requires a vast range of full- and part-time service employees to be retained for at least three months, even when a business changes ownership or service contracts.

Alexis Bailey, the vice president of government affairs for the New Jersey Business & Industry Association., said this is an extreme example of government overreach.

Big Brother control?

“All around I think this is just problematic for service vendors in the state, business owners that want services done for them. It’s going to make it, I would say virtually impossible for businesses to be able to change their service contracts as they see fit,” Bailey said.

Bailey said not only is this government meddling, but “ultimately that can have health and safety impacts for our employers and really residents across the state.”

Back view of a businessman working with a computer
Wavebreakmedia Ltd

Concerning potential impacts

Bailey pointed out this kind of mandate could have a negative impact on many of the businesses that New Jerseyans rely on, pointing out that the measure could impact cleaning services at health care facilities or security at pharmaceutical labs.

"I think this is going to have a far-reaching impact on the ability for our employers to make necessary operational decisions."

Other types of businesses that would be impacted include large office buildings, warehouses, airports, museums, convention centers, arenas, performance halls and industrial sites.

Bailey said this "Big Brother" kind of approach is not good for anybody.

SIphotography ThinkStock

Who's running the show?

“Businesses should 100% have the opportunity to contract with whatever vendors they see fit, and those vendors should have the opportunity to hire whatever employees they see fit,” Bailey said.

She added if a business is changing a vendor it’s for a valid reason.

“Whether its they’re not satisfied with the work, they can find a better price, someone that can do the work at a more convenient time for them, and employers have to be able to retain the right to make those decisions.”

She also pointed out if the measure is passed and signed into law, violators could face up to 90 days in prison for a second violation.

“On top of how unnecessary and ridiculous this bill really is, the penalties in the bill are egregious,” Bailey said.

When asked for comment, State Senator Troy Singleton, D-Burlington said “when ownership of service contracts changes, employees and their needs can often be forgotten. It is important to ensure that employees have job stability, even in transitions of management."

He added “while we are aware of the concerns of the business community, and have worked with them to address some of them, we remain steadfast in our commitment to protect these workers, who are often marginalized.”

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David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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