Until recently, workers on strike in New Jersey were not able to claim unemployment benefits. Governor Phil Murphy signed a new law that changed this. Now, workers involved in labor disputes may have the option to file. This new legislation allows striking workers to collect these benefits if their employer breaks the stipulations outlined in their employment contract or collective bargaining agreement. Additionally, employees could be entitled even if the disagreement is not related to their company’s refusal to follow the employment contract’s terms. There is a mandatory 30-day waiting period for filing claims.
Background on A3861
In 2016, 40,000 Verizon employees held a six-week long strike against their employer’s contract demands. Approximately 4,600 of them were working in New Jersey at the time. Later that same year, the Taj Mahal hotel and casino workers waged a major strike that focused on a benefits dispute. The bill that followed these strikes, A3861, modifies the New Jersey unemployment insurance law. That same year, Senate President Stephen Sweeney showed his support by stating that A3861 would let workers fight for their rights while still being able to afford to eat.
According to this bill, striking employees that meet the conditions outlined above will not have to wait 30 days if their employer either does not allow them to come back to work or if a permanent replacement is hired. Furthermore, a $750 penalty for each employee, for every week that benefits are lost, may have to be paid by the employer into the unemployment insurance fund.
Qualifying for Unemployment Benefits in New Jersey
There are certain steps to take when applying for unemployment, and the process should be started as soon as the employee loses their job. Proof of residency, and the employee’s social security number, tax information, and detailed work history are required. Employer information also is required. In most cases, eligibility depends on how long the worker was employed with the company and the reason why the job ended.
Applicants must follow the instructions correctly. Once the application is completed, they should receive a benefit determination notice, which does not always guarantee payments. In these cases, the applicant can contact the state’s Re-Employment Call Center with questions and arrange interviews to determine eligibility. Once a claim is approved, the claimant must contact the office every two weeks to certify their payments to ensure that the benefits will continue. New Jersey Unemployment Insurance benefits are 60 percent of an average weekly wage, with the maximum weekly amount being $681 for a period of 26 weeks.
Marlton Employment Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Handle All Types of Employment Cases
If you are involved in an unemployment insurance dispute, turn to the experienced Marlton employment lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C.. We provide effective counsel to employees and employers about all types of employment and unemployment issues.
Call our Red Bank office at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, our Newark office at 973-878-9040, or contact us at 888-396-0736 or online for a free consultation. We represent clients throughout New Jersey.