SENATE, No. 2249

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

212th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED OCTOBER 16, 2006

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator STEPHEN M. SWEENEY

District 3 (Salem, Cumberland and Gloucester)

Senator BARBARA BUONO

District 18 (Middlesex)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Coniglio, Weinberg and Lesniak

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Extends TDI to provide family leave benefits for workers caring for sick family members, newborn and newly adopted children.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act providing benefits for family temporary disability leave, amending R.S.43:21-4 and R.S.43:21-7 and amending and supplementing P.L.1948, c.110.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  Section 2 of P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21‑26) is amended to read as follows:

     2.  Purpose.  This act shall be liberally construed as remedial legislation enacted upon the following declarations of public policy and legislative findings of fact:

     The public policy of this State, already established, is to protect employees against the suffering and hardship generally caused by involuntary unemployment.  But the [unemployment compensation law] "unemployment compensation law" provides benefit payments to replace wage loss caused by involuntary unemployment only so long as an individual is "able to work, and is available for work," and fails to provide any protection against wage loss suffered because of inability to perform the duties of a job interrupted by nonoccupational illness, injury, or other disability of the individual or of members of the individual's family.  Nor is there any other comprehensive and systematic provision for the protection of working people against loss of earnings due to a nonoccupational sickness [or], accident, or other disability.

     The prevalence and incidence of nonoccupational sickness [and], accident, and other disability among employed people is greatest among the lower income groups, who either cannot or will not voluntarily provide out of their own resources against the hazard of an earnings loss caused by nonoccupational sickness [or], accident, or other disability. Disabling sickness or accident occurs throughout the working population at one time or another, and approximately fifteen per centum (15%) of the number of people at work may be expected to suffer disabling illness of more than one week each year.

     It [has been] was found, prior to the enactment of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21‑25 et seq.), that then existing voluntary plans for the payment of cash sickness benefits [cover] covered less than one‑half of the number of working people of this State who [are now] were covered by the [unemployment compensation law,] "unemployment compensation law," and that even [this] that degree of voluntary protection [affords] afforded uneven, unequal and sometimes uncertain protection among the various voluntary benefit programs.

     While the enactment of that law has provided stable protection for New Jersey's disabled workers, very few workers are protected from income losses caused by the need to take time off from work to care for family members who are incapable of self-care, including newborn and newly-adopted children.  The growing portion of middle-income families in which all adult family members work, largely due to economic necessity, points to the desperate need for replacement income when a working family member must take time to care for family members who are unable to take care of themselves.  Moreover, the United States is the only industrialized nation in the world which does not have a mandatory workplace-based program for such income support.  It is therefore desirable and necessary to fill the gap in existing provisions for protection against the loss of earnings caused by involuntary unemployment, by extending such protection to meet the hazard of earnings loss due to inability to work caused by nonoccupational sickness [or accident], accidents, or other disabilities of workers and members of their familiesDeveloping systems that help families adapt to the competing interests of work and home not only benefits workers, but also benefits employers by reducing employee turnover and increasing worker productivity.

     The foregoing facts and considerations require that there be a uniform minimum program providing in a systematic manner for the payment of reasonable benefits to replace partially such earnings loss and to meet the continuing need for benefits where an individual becomes disabled during unemployment or needs to care for family members incapable of self-care.  In order to maintain consumer purchasing power, relieve the serious menace to health, morals and welfare of the people caused by insecurity and the loss of earnings, to reduce the necessity for public relief of needy persons, to increase workplace productivity and alleviate the enormous and growing stress on working families of balancing the demands of work and family needs, and in the interest of the health, welfare and security of the people of this State, such a system, enacted under the police power, is hereby established, requiring the payment of reasonable cash benefits to eligible individuals [suffering] who are subject to accident or illness which is not compensable under the [workmen's] worker’s compensation law or who need to care for family members incapable of self-care.

     Since the enactment of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21‑25 et seq.), the State government-operated State temporary disability benefits plan, or "State plan," has proven to be highly efficient and cost effective in providing temporary disability benefits to New Jersey workers.  The State plan guarantees the availability of coverage for all employers, regardless of experience, with low overhead costs and a rapid processing of claims and appeals by knowledgeable, impartial public employees.  Consequently, the percentage of all employers using the State plan increased from 64% in 1952 to 98% in 2005, while the percentage of employees covered by the State plan increased from 28% to 79%.  A publicly-operated, nonprofit State plan is therefore indispensable to achieving the goals of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21‑25 et seq.).

(cf:  P.L.1948, c.110, s.2)

 

     2.  Section 3 of P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21‑27) is amended to read as follows:

     3.  As used in this act, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

     (a)  (1)  "Covered employer" means, with respect to whether an employer is required to provide benefits during an employee's own disability pursuant to P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et seq.), any individual or type of organization, including any partnership, association, trust, estate, joint‑stock company, insurance company or corporation, whether domestic or foreign, or the receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, trustee or successor thereof, or the legal representative of a deceased person, who is an employer subject to the [chapter to which this act is a supplement, designated as the] "unemployment compensation law" (R.S.43:21‑1 et seq.), except the State, its political subdivisions, and any instrumentality of the State unless such governmental entity elects to become a covered employer [under the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law"] pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection (a); provided, however, that commencing with the effective date of this act, the State of New Jersey, including Rutgers, The State University, the University of  Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, shall be deemed a covered employer, as defined herein.

     "Covered employer" means, after June 30, 2008 with respect to whether an employer is required to provide benefits during an employee's period of family temporary disability leave pursuant to P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et seq.), any individual or type of organization, including any partnership, association, trust, estate, joint‑stock company, insurance company or corporation, whether domestic or foreign, or the receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, trustee or successor thereof, or the legal representative of a deceased person, who is an employer subject to the "unemployment compensation law" (R.S.43:21‑1 et seq.), including any governmental entity or instrumentality which is an employer under R.S.43:21‑19(h)(5).

     (2)  Any governmental entity or instrumentality which is an employer under R.S.43:21‑19(h)(5) may, with respect to the provision of benefits during an employee's own disability pursuant to P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et seq.), elect to become a "covered employer" under this subsection beginning with the date on which its coverage under [subsection 19(h)(5)]R.S.43:21-19(h)(5) begins or as of January 1 of any year thereafter by filing written notice of such election with the division within at least 30 days of the effective date.  Such election shall remain in effect for at least two full calendar years and may be terminated as of January 1 of any year thereafter by filing with the division a written notice of termination at least 30 days prior to the termination date.

     (b)  (1)  "Covered individual" means, with respect to whether an individual is eligible for benefits during an individual's own disability pursuant to P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et seq.), any person who is in employment, as defined in the [chapter to which this act is a supplement], “unemployment compensations law” (R.S.43:21-1 et seq.) for which the individual is entitled to remuneration from a covered employer, or who has been out of such employment for less than two weeks[.  However,], except that a "covered individual" who is employed by the State of New Jersey, including Rutgers, The State University, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, or by any governmental entity or instrumentality which elects to become a "covered employer" pursuant to this amendatory act, shall not be eligible to receive any benefits under the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" until such individual has exhausted all sick leave accumulated as an employee in the classified service of the State or accumulated under terms and conditions similar to classified employees or accumulated under the terms and conditions pursuant to the laws of this State or as the result of a negotiated contract with any governmental entity or instrumentality which elects to become a "covered employer."

     "Covered individual" shall not mean, with respect to whether an individual is eligible for benefits during an individual's own disability pursuant to P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et seq.), any member of the Division of State Police in the Department of Law and Public Safety.

     (2)  "Covered individual" means, with respect to whether an employer is required to provide benefits during an employee's period of family temporary disability leave pursuant to P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et seq.), any individual who is in employment, as defined in the “unemployment compensation law” (R.S.43:21-1 et seq.), for which the individual is entitled to remuneration from a covered employer, or who has been out of that employment for less than two weeks.

     (c)  "Division" or "commission" means the Division of Unemployment and Temporary Disability Insurance of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and any transaction or exercise of authority by the director of the division shall be deemed to be performed by the division.

     (d)  "Day" shall mean a full calendar day beginning and ending at midnight.

     (e)  "Disability" shall mean such disability as is compensable under section 5 of this act.

     (f)  "Disability benefits" shall mean any cash payments which are payable to a covered individual for all or part of a period of disability pursuant to this act.

     (g)  "Period of disability" with respect to any covered individual shall mean [the]:

     (1)  The entire period of time during which the covered individual is continuously and totally unable to perform the duties of [his] the covered individual's employment because of the covered individual’s own disability, except that two periods of disability due to the same or related cause or condition and separated by a period of not more than 14 days shall be considered as one continuous period of disability; provided the individual has earned wages during such 14‑day period with the employer who was the individual's last employer immediately preceding the first period of disability: and

     (2)  On or after July 1, 2008, the entire period of family temporary disability leave taken from employment by the covered individual.

     (h)  "Wages" shall mean all compensation payable by covered employers to covered individuals for personal services, including commissions and bonuses and the cash value of all compensation payable in any medium other than cash.

     (i)  (1)  (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2001, c.17).

     (2)  (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2001, c.17).

     (3)  "Base week" with respect to periods of disability commencing on or after October 1, 1985 and before January 1, 2001, means any calendar week during which [an] a covered individual earned in employment from a covered employer remuneration equal to not less than 20% of the Statewide average weekly remuneration as determined under subsection (c) of R.S.43:21‑3, which shall be adjusted to the next higher multiple of $1.00 if not already a multiple thereof.

     (4)  "Base week" with respect to periods of disability commencing on or after January 1, 2001, means any calendar week of [an] a covered individual's base year during which the covered individual earned in employment from a covered employer remuneration not less than an amount 20 times the minimum wage in effect pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1966, c.113 (C.34:11‑56a4) on October 1 of the calendar year preceding the calendar year in which the benefit year commences, which amount shall be adjusted to the next higher multiple of $1.00 if not already a multiple thereof, except that if in any calendar week an individual subject to this paragraph is in employment with more than one employer, the covered individual may in that calendar week establish a base week with respect to each of the employers from whom the covered individual earns remuneration equal to not less than the amount defined in this paragraph during that week.

     (j)  "Average weekly wage" means the amount derived by dividing a covered individual's total wages earned from the individual's most recent covered employer during the base weeks in the eight calendar weeks immediately preceding the calendar week in which a period of disability commenced, by the number of such base weeks.  If this computation yields a result which is less than the individual's average weekly earnings in employment, as defined in the chapter to which this act is a supplement, with all covered employers during the base weeks in such eight calendar weeks, then the average weekly wage shall be computed on the basis of earnings from all covered employers during the eight base weeks immediately preceding the week in which the disability commenced.

     (k)  "Child" means a biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild or legal ward of a covered individual, or child of a domestic partner of the covered individual, who is less than 19 years of age or is 19 years of age or older but incapable of self-care because of mental or physical impairment.

     (l)  "Domestic partner" means a domestic partner as defined in section 3 of P.L.2003, c.246 (C.26:8A‑3).

     (m)  "Family member" means a child, spouse, domestic partner or parent of a covered individual.

     (n)  "Family temporary disability leave" means leave taken by a covered individual from work with an employer to (1) participate in the providing of care for a family member of the individual made necessary by a serious health condition of the family member, including providing psychological comfort and arranging third party care for the family member; or (2) be with a child during the first 12 months after the child's birth, if the individual or the domestic partner of the individual is a biological parent of the child, or the first 12 months after the placement of the child for adoption with the individual.  "Family temporary disability leave" does not include any period of time in which a covered individual is paid benefits pursuant to P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et seq.) because the individual is unable to perform the duties of the individual's employment due to the individual's own disability.

     (o)  "Parent of a covered individual" means a biological parent, foster parent, adoptive parent, or stepparent of the covered individual or a person who was a legal guardian of the covered individual when the covered individual was a child.

     (p)  "Placement for adoption" means the time when a covered individual adopts a child or becomes responsible for a child pending adoption by the covered individual.

     (q)  "Serious health condition" means an illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition which requires: inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility; or continuing medical treatment or continuing supervision by a legally licensed physician, dentist, optometrist, podiatrist, practicing psychologist, advanced practice nurse, or chiropractor.

(cf:  P.L.2001, c.17, s.3)

 

     3.  Section 5 of P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21‑29) is amended to read as follows:

     5.  Compensable disability.  [Disability] (a)  In the case of the disability of a covered individual, disability shall be compensable subject to the limitations of this act[, where a] if the disability is the result of the covered individual [suffers any] suffering an accident or sickness not arising out of and in the course of the individual's employment or if so arising not compensable under the workers' compensation law [(Title 34 of the Revised Statutes)] R.S.34:15-1 et seq., and resulting in the individual's total inability to perform the duties of employment.

     (b)  In the case of an individual taking family temporary disability leave, the leave shall be compensable subject to the limitations of P.L.____c.____(C.____)(pending before the Legislature as this bill).

(cf:  P.L.1980, c.90, s.13)

 

     4.  Section 11 of P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21‑35) is amended to read as follows:

     11.  (a) If the division is furnished satisfactory evidence that a majority of the employees covered by an approved private plan have made election in writing to discontinue such plan, the division shall withdraw its approval of such plan effective at the end of the calendar quarter next succeeding that in which such evidence is furnished.  Upon receipt of a petition therefor signed by not less than 10% of the employees covered by an approved private plan, the division shall require the employer upon 30 days' written notice to conduct an election by ballot in writing to determine whether or not a majority of the employees covered by such private plan favor discontinuance thereof; provided, that such election shall not be required more often than once in any 12‑month period.

     (b)  Unless sooner permitted, for cause, by the division, no approved private plan shall be terminated by an employer, in whole or in part, until at least 30 days after written notice of intention so to do has been given by the employer to the division and after notices are conspicuously posted so as reasonably to assure their being seen, or after individual notices are given to the employees concerned.

     (c)  The division may, after notice and hearing, withdraw its approval of any approved private plan if it finds that there is danger that the benefits accrued or to accrue will not be paid, that the security for such payment is insufficient, or for other good cause shown.  No employer, and no union or association representing employees, shall so administer or apply the provisions  of an approved private plan as to derive any profit therefrom. The division may withdraw its approval from any private plan which is administered or applied in violation of this provision.

     (d)  No termination of an approved private plan shall affect the payment of benefits, in accordance with the provisions of the plan, to [disabled] employees whose period of disability commenced prior to the date of termination.  Employees who have ceased to be covered by an approved private plan because of its termination shall, subject to the limitations and restrictions of this act, become eligible forthwith for benefits from the State Disability Benefits Fund for a period of disability commencing after such cessation, and contributions with respect to their wages shall immediately become payable as otherwise provided by law.  Any withdrawal of approval of a private plan pursuant to this section shall be reviewable by writ of certiorari or by such other procedure as may be provided by law.

     (e)  Anything in this act to the contrary notwithstanding, a covered employer who, under an approved private plan, is providing benefits at least equal to those required by the State plan, may modify the benefits under the private plan so as to provide benefits not less than the benefits required by the State plan[; provided, that individuals].  Individuals covered under [such] a private plan shall not be required to contribute to [such] the plan at a rate exceeding 3/4 of 1% of the amount of "wages" established for any calendar year under the provisions of R.S.43:21‑7(b) prior to January 1, 1975, and 1/2 of 1% for calendar years beginning on or after January 1, 1975, except that, for calendar years beginning after December 31, 2007, if the employer is a covered employer with respect to being required to provide benefits during periods of family temporary disability, the employer may require the individuals covered by the private plan to contribute an additional amount not exceeding the amount the individuals would pay pursuant to paragraph (1)(G)(ii) of subsection (d) of R.S.43:21-7.  Notification of [such] the proposed modification shall be given by the employer to the division and to the individuals covered under [such] the plan[, on or before May 1, 1975].

(cf:  P.L.1974, c.86, s.8)

 

     5.  Section 14 of P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21‑38) is amended to read as follows:

     14.  Duration of benefits.  With respect to periods of disability commencing on or after January 1, 1953, disability benefits, not in excess of an individual's maximum benefits, shall be payable with respect to disability which commences while a person is a covered individual under the Temporary Disability Benefits Law, and shall be payable with respect to the eighth consecutive day of such disability and each day thereafter that such period of disability continues; and if benefits shall be payable for three consecutive weeks with respect to any period of disability commencing on or after January 1, 1968, then benefits shall also be payable with respect to the first seven days thereof.  The maximum total benefits payable to any eligible individual for any period of disability of the individual commencing on or after January 1, 1968, shall be either 26 times his weekly benefit amount or 1/3 of his total wages in his base year, whichever is the lesser; provided that such maximum amount shall be computed in the next lower multiple of $1.00 if not already a multiple thereof.  The maximum total benefits payable to any eligible individual for any period of family temporary disability leave commencing on or after July 1, 2008, shall be 12 times the individual's weekly benefit amount; provided that the maximum amount shall be computed in the next lower multiple of $1.00, if not already a multiple thereof.

(cf:  P.L.1984, c.104, s.2)

 

     6.  Section 15 of P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21‑39) is amended to read as follows:

     15.  Limitation of benefits.  Notwithstanding any other provision of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et seq.), no benefits shall be payable under the State plan to any [person] individual:

     (a)  for the first seven consecutive days of each period of disability; except that if benefits shall be payable for three consecutive weeks with respect to any period of disability [commencing on or after January 1, 1968], then benefits shall also be payable with respect to the first seven days thereof, and, in the case of intermittent leave in a single period of family temporary disability leave taken to provide care for a family member of the individual with a serious health condition, the seven-day waiting period shall apply only one time during the entire period of leave, provided that no benefits shall in any case be paid for family temporary disability leave which is shorter in duration than one workweek;

     (b)  (1)  for more than 26 weeks with respect to any one period of disability of the individual;

     (2)  for more than 12 weeks with respect to any one period of family temporary disability leave; or

     (3)  for more than 12 weeks of family temporary disability leave during any 12-month period, including family temporary disability leave taken pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection (f) of R.S.43:21-4 while unemployed.

     (c)   for any period of disability which did not commence while the claimant was a covered individual;

     (d)   for any period of disability during which the claimant, or, in a case of family temporary disability leave for a serious health condition of a family member of the claimant, the family member, is not under the care of a legally licensed physician, dentist, optometrist, podiatrist, practicing psychologist, advanced practice nurse, or chiropractor, who, when requested by the division, shall certify within the scope of the practitioner's practice, the disability of the claimant or the serious health condition of the family member, the probable duration thereof, and, where applicable, the medical facts within the practitioner's knowledge; 

     (e)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1980, c.90.)

     (f)    for any period of disability due to willfully and intentionally self-inflicted injury, or to injury sustained in the perpetration by the claimant of a crime of the first, second, or third degree;

     (g)   for any period during which the claimant performs any work for remuneration or profit;

     (h)   in a weekly amount which together with any remuneration the claimant continues to receive from the employer would exceed regular weekly wages immediately prior to disability;

     (i)    for any period during which a covered individual would be disqualified for unemployment compensation benefits under subsection (d) of R.S.43:21-5, unless the disability commenced prior to such disqualification; and there shall be no other cause of disqualification or ineligibility to receive disability benefits hereunder except as may be specifically provided in this act. 

(cf: P.L.2004, c.168, s.2)

 

     7.  (New section)  a.  Family temporary disability leave shall be compensable subject to the limitations of P.L.     , c.    (C.    ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) for any period of family temporary disability leave taken by a covered individual which commences after June 30, 2008.

     b.    The employer of an individual may permit or require the individual, during a period of family temporary disability leave, to use any paid sick leave, vacation time or other leave at full pay made available by the employer before the individual is eligible for disability benefits for family temporary disability leave pursuant to this act, except that the employer may not require the individual to use more than two weeks worth of leave at full pay.  The employer may also have the total number of days worth of disability benefits paid pursuant to P.L.     ,c.    (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) to the individual during a period of family temporary disability leave reduced by the number of days of leave at full pay paid by the employer to the individual during that period.  If the employer requires the individual to use one week or more of leave at full pay, the employee shall be permitted to take that fully-paid leave during the waiting period required pursuant to subsection (a) of section 15 of P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-39).  Nothing in P.L.     ,c.     (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be construed as nullifying any provision of an existing collective bargaining agreement or employer policy, or preventing any new provision of a collective bargaining agreement or employer policy, which provides employees more generous leave or gives employees greater rights to select which kind of leave is used or select the order in which the different kinds of leave are used.

     c.     An individual shall not simultaneously receive disability benefits for family temporary disability leave and any other disability benefits pursuant to P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et seq.) or any unemployment compensation.

     d.    Each covered employer shall conspicuously post notification, in a place or places accessible to all employees in each of the employer's workplaces, in a form issued in regulation promulgated by the commissioner, of each covered employee’s rights regarding benefits payable pursuant to this section.  The employer shall also provide each employee of the employer with a written copy of the notification: (1) not later than 30 days after the form of the notification is issued by regulation; (2) at the time of the employee's hiring, if the employee is hired after the issuance; (3) whenever the employee notifies the employer that the employee is taking time off for circumstances under which the employee is eligible for benefits pursuant to this section; and (4) at any time, upon the first request of the employee.

 

     8.  (New section)  a.  In the case of a family member who has a serious health condition, the benefits for family temporary disability leave may be taken intermittently when medically necessary, if: the total time within which the leave is taken does not exceed 12 months; the covered individual provides the employer with prior notice of the leave in a reasonable and practicable manner and with a copy of the certification required pursuant to subsection b. of this section; and the covered individual makes a reasonable effort to schedule the leave so as not to unduly disrupt the operations of the employer.

     b.  Any period of family temporary disability leave for the serious health condition of a family member of the covered individual shall be supported by certification provided by a legally licensed physician, dentist, optometrist, podiatrist, practicing psychologist, advanced practice nurse, or chiropractor.  The certification shall be sufficient if it states:

     (1)  The date, if known, on which the serious health condition commenced;

     (2)  The probable duration of the condition;

     (3)  The medical facts within the knowledge of the provider of the certification regarding the condition;

     (4)  A statement that the serious health condition warrants the participation of the covered individual in providing health care, including providing psychological comfort and arranging third party care for the family member;

     (5)  An estimate of the amount of time that the covered individual is needed for participation in the care of the family member;

     (6)  If the leave is intermittent, a statement of the medical necessity for the intermittent leave and the expected duration of the intermittent leave; and

     (7)  If the leave is intermittent and for planned medical treatment, the dates of the treatment.

     c.  A covered individual claiming benefits to provide care for a family member with a serious health condition under the State plan or during unemployment shall, if requested by the division, have the family member submit to an examination by a legally licensed physician, dentist, optometrist, podiatrist, chiropractor, practicing psychologist or public health nurse designated by the division.  The examinations shall not be more frequent than once a week, shall be made without cost to the claimant and shall be held at a reasonable time and place.  Refusal to have the family member submit to an examination requested pursuant to this subsection shall disqualify the claimant from all benefits for the period in question, except from benefits already paid.

 

     9.  (New section)  a.  All of the disability benefits paid to an individual during a period of family temporary disability leave with respect to any one birth or adoption shall be for a single continuous period of time, except that the employer of the individual may permit the individual to receive the disability benefits during non-consecutive weeks in a manner mutually agreed to by the employer and the individual and disclosed to the division by the employer.

     b.  The individual shall provide the employer with notice of the period of family temporary disability leave with respect to birth or adoption not less than 30 days before the leave commences, unless it commences while the individual is receiving unemployment benefits, in which case the individual shall notify the division.  The amount of benefits shall be reduced by two weeks worth of benefits if the individual does not provide notice to an employer as required by this subsection b., unless the time of the leave is unforeseeable or the time of the leave changes for unforeseeable reasons.

     c.  Family temporary disability leave taken because of the birth or placement for adoption of a child may be taken at any time within a year after the date of the birth or placement for adoption.

 

     10.  R.S. 43:21-4 is amended to read as follows:

     43:21-4.  Benefit eligibility conditions.  An unemployed individual shall be eligible to receive benefits with respect to any week only if:

     (a)   The individual has filed a claim at an unemployment insurance claims office and thereafter continues to report at an employment service office or unemployment insurance claims office, as directed by the division in accordance with such regulations as the division may prescribe, except that the division may, by regulation, waive or alter either or both of the requirements of this subsection as to individuals attached to regular jobs, and as to such other types of cases or situations with respect to which the division finds that compliance with such requirements would be oppressive, or would be inconsistent with the purpose of this act; provided that no such regulation shall conflict with subsection (a) of R.S.43:21-3.

     (b)   The individual has made a claim for benefits in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of R.S.43:21-6.

     (c) (1) The individual is able to work, and is available for work, and has demonstrated to be actively seeking work, except as hereinafter provided in this subsection or in subsection (f) of this section.

     (2)   The director may modify the requirement of actively seeking work if such modification of this requirement is warranted by economic conditions.

     (3)   No individual, who is otherwise eligible, shall be deemed ineligible, or unavailable for work, because the individual is on vacation, without pay, during said week, if said vacation is not the result of the individual's own action as distinguished from any collective action of a collective bargaining agent or other action beyond the individual's control.

     (4)   (A) Subject to such limitations and conditions as the division may prescribe, an individual, who is otherwise eligible, shall not be deemed unavailable for work or ineligible because the individual is attending a training program approved for the individual by the division to enhance the individual's employment opportunities or because the individual failed or refused to accept work while attending such program.

     (B)  For the purpose of this paragraph (4), any training program shall be regarded as approved by the division for the individual if the program and the individual meet the following requirements:

     (i)    The training is for a labor demand occupation and is likely to enhance the individual's marketable skills and earning power;

     (ii) The training is provided by a competent and reliable private or public entity approved by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development pursuant to the provisions of section 8 of the "1992 New Jersey Employment and Workforce Development Act," P.L.1992, c.43 (C.34:15D-8);

     (iii) The individual can reasonably be expected to complete the program, either during or after the period of benefits;

     (iv) The training does not include on the job training or other training under which the individual is paid by an employer for work performed by the individual during the time that the individual receives benefits; and

     (v)   The individual enrolls in vocational training, remedial education or a combination of both on a full-time basis.

     (C)  If the requirements of subparagraph (B) of this paragraph (4) are met, the division shall not withhold approval of the training program for the individual for any of the following reasons:

     (i)    The training includes remedial basic skills education necessary for the individual to successfully complete the vocational component of the training;

     (ii)  The training is provided in connection with a program under which the individual may obtain a college degree, including a post-graduate degree;

     (iii) The length of the training period under the program; or

     (iv) The lack of a prior guarantee of employment upon completion of the training.

     (D)  For the purpose of this paragraph (4), "labor demand occupation" means an occupation for which there is or is likely to be an excess of demand over supply for adequately trained workers, including, but not limited to, an occupation designated as a labor demand occupation by the [New Jersey] Center for Occupational Employment Information [Coordinating Committee] pursuant to the provisions of subsection [h.] d. of section [1 of P.L.1987, c.457 (C.34:1A-76) or section 12 of P.L.1992, c.43 (C.34:1A-78)] 27 of P.L.2005, c.354 (C.34:1A-86).

     (5)   An unemployed individual, who is otherwise eligible, shall not be deemed unavailable for work or ineligible solely by reason of the individual's attendance before a court in response to a summons for service on a jury.

     (6)   An unemployed individual, who is otherwise eligible, shall not be deemed unavailable for work or ineligible solely by reason of the individual's attendance at the funeral of an immediate family member, provided that the duration of the attendance does not extend beyond a two-day period.

     For purposes of this paragraph, "immediate family member" includes any of the following individuals:  father, mother, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandmother, grandfather, grandchild, spouse, child, child placed by the Division of Youth and Family Services in the Department of  Children and Families, sister or brother of the unemployed individual and any relatives of the unemployed individual residing in the unemployed individual's household.

     (7)   No individual, who is otherwise eligible, shall be deemed ineligible or unavailable for work with respect to any week because, during that week, the individual fails or refuses to accept work while the individual is participating on a full-time basis in self-employment assistance activities authorized by the division, whether or not the individual is receiving a self-employment allowance during that week.

     (8)   Any individual who is determined to be likely to exhaust regular benefits and need reemployment services based on information obtained by the worker profiling system shall not be eligible to receive benefits if the individual fails to participate in available reemployment services to which the individual is referred by the division or in similar services, unless the division determines that:

     (A)  The individual has completed the reemployment services; or

     (B)  There is justifiable cause for the failure to participate, which shall include participation in employment and training, self-employment assistance activities or other activities authorized by the division to assist reemployment or enhance the marketable skills and earning power of the individual and which shall include any other circumstance indicated pursuant to this section in which an individual is not required to be available for and actively seeking work to receive benefits.

     (9)   An unemployed individual, who is otherwise eligible, shall not be deemed unavailable for work or ineligible solely by reason of the individual's work as a board worker for a county board of elections on an election day.

     (d)   With respect to any benefit year commencing before January 1, 2002, the individual has been totally or partially unemployed for a waiting period of one week in the benefit year which includes that week.  When benefits become payable with respect to the third consecutive week next following the waiting period, the individual shall be eligible to receive benefits as appropriate with respect to the waiting period.  No week shall be counted as a week of unemployment for the purposes of this subsection:

     (1)   If benefits have been paid, or are payable with respect thereto; provided that the requirements of this paragraph shall be waived with respect to any benefits paid or payable for a waiting period as provided in this subsection;

     (2)   If it has constituted a waiting period week under the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et seq.);

     (3)   Unless the individual fulfills the requirements of subsections (a) and (c) of this section;

     (4)   If with respect thereto, claimant was disqualified for benefits in accordance with the provisions of subsection (d) of R.S.43:21-5.

     The waiting period provided by this subsection shall not apply to benefit years commencing on or after January 1, 2002.  An individual whose total benefit amount was reduced by the application of the waiting period to a claim which occurred on or after January 1, 2002 and before the effective date of P.L.2002, c.13, shall be permitted to file a claim for the additional benefits attributable to the waiting period in the form and manner prescribed by the division, but not later than the 180th day following the effective date of P.L.2002, c.13 unless the division determines that there is good cause for a later filing.

     (e) (1) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2001, c.17).

     (2)   With respect to benefit years commencing on or after January 1, 1996 and before January 7, 2001, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, the individual has, during his base year as defined in subsection (c) of R.S.43:21-19:

     (A)  Established at least 20 base weeks as defined in paragraph (2) of subsection (t) of R.S.43:21-19; or

     (B)  If the individual has not met the requirements of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph (2), earned remuneration not less than an amount 12 times the Statewide average weekly remuneration paid to workers, as determined under [R.S.43:21-3(c)] subsection (c) of R.S.43:21-3, which amount shall be adjusted to the next higher multiple of $100 if not already a multiple thereof; or

     If the individual has not met the requirements of subparagraph (A) or (B) of this paragraph (2), earned remuneration not less than an amount 1,000 times the minimum wage in effect pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1966, c.113 (C.34:11-56a4) on October 1 of the calendar year preceding the calendar year in which the benefit year commences, which amount shall be adjusted to the next higher multiple of $100 if not already a multiple thereof.

     (3)   With respect to benefit years commencing before January 7, 2001, notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (2) of this subsection, an unemployed individual claiming benefits on the basis of service performed in the production and harvesting of agricultural crops shall, subject to the limitations of subsection  (i) of R.S.43:21-19, be eligible to receive benefits if during his base year, as defined in subsection of R.S.43:21-19, the individual:

     (A)  Has established at least 20 base weeks as defined in paragraph (2) of subsection (t) of R.S.43:21-19; or

     (B)  Has earned 12 times the Statewide average weekly remuneration paid to workers, as determined under R.S.43:21-3(c), raised to the next higher multiple of $100.00 if not already a multiple thereof, or more; or

     (C)  Has performed at least 770 hours of service in the production and harvesting of agricultural crops.

     (4)   With respect to benefit years commencing on or after January 7, 2001, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (5) of this subsection, the individual has, during his base year as defined in subsection (c) of R.S.43:21-19:

     (A)  Established at least 20 base weeks as defined in paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (t) of R.S.43:21-19; or

     (B)  If the individual has not met the requirements of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph (4), earned remuneration not less than an amount 1,000 times the minimum wage in effect pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1966, c.113 (C.34:11-56a4) on October 1 of the calendar year preceding the calendar year in which the benefit year commences, which amount shall be adjusted to the next higher multiple of $100 if not already a multiple thereof.

     (5)   With respect to benefit years commencing on or after January 7, 2001, notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (4) of this subsection, an unemployed individual claiming benefits on the basis of service performed in the production and harvesting of agricultural crops shall, subject to the limitations of subsection (i) of R.S.43:21-19, be eligible to receive benefits if during his base year, as defined in subsection (c) of R.S.43:21-19, the individual:

     (A)  Has established at least 20 base weeks as defined in paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (t) of R.S.43:21-19; or

     (B)  Has earned remuneration not less than an amount 1,000 times the minimum wage in effect pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1966, c.113 (C.34:11-56a4) on October 1 of the calendar year preceding the calendar year in which the benefit year commences, which amount shall be adjusted to the next higher multiple of $100 if not already a multiple thereof; or

     (C)  Has performed at least 770 hours of service in the production and harvesting of agricultural crops.

     (6)   The individual applying for benefits in any successive benefit year has earned at least six times his previous weekly benefit amount and has had four weeks of employment since the beginning of the immediately preceding benefit year.  This provision shall be in addition to the earnings requirements specified in paragraph (2), (3), (4) or (5) of this subsection, as applicable.

     (f) (1) The individual has suffered any accident or sickness not compensable under the workers' compensation law, R.S.34:15-1 et seq. and resulting in the individual's total disability to perform any work for remuneration, and would be eligible to receive benefits under this chapter (R.S.43:21-1 et seq.) (without regard to the maximum amount of benefits payable during any benefit year) except for the inability to work and has furnished notice and proof of claim to the division, in accordance with its rules and regulations, and payment is not precluded by the provisions of [R.S.43:21-3(d)] subsection (d) of R.S.43:21‑3; provided, however, that benefits paid under this subsection (f) shall be computed on the basis of only those base year wages earned by the claimant as a "covered individual," as defined in  [R.S.43:21-27(b)] subsection (b) of R.S.43:21‑27; provided further that no benefits shall be payable under this subsection to any individual:

     (A) For any period during which such individual is not under the care of a legally licensed physician, dentist, optometrist, podiatrist, practicing psychologist, advanced practice nurse, or chiropractor;

     (B)  (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1980, c.90.)

     (C)  For any period of disability due to willfully or intentionally self-inflicted injury, or to injuries sustained in the perpetration by the individual of a crime of the first, second or third degree;

     (D)  For any week with respect to which or a part of which the individual has received or is seeking benefits under any unemployment compensation or disability benefits law of any other state or of the United States; provided that if the appropriate agency of such other state or the United States finally determines that the individual is not entitled to such benefits, this disqualification shall not apply;

     (E)   For any week with respect to which or part of which the individual has received or is seeking disability benefits under the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et seq.);

     (F)   For any period of disability commencing while such individual is a "covered individual," as defined in subsection (b) of section 3 of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-27).

     (2)   The individual is taking family temporary disability leave to provide care for a family member with a serious health condition or to be with a child during the first 12 months after the child's birth or placement of the child for adoption with the individual, and the individual would be eligible to receive benefits under R.S.43:21‑1 et seq. (without regard to the maximum amount of benefits payable during any benefit year) except for the individual’s unavailability for work while taking the family temporary disability leave, and the individual has furnished notice and proof of claim to the division, in accordance with its rules and regulations, and payment is not precluded by the provisions of subsection (d) of R.S.43:21‑3 provided, however, that benefits paid under this subsection (f) shall be computed on the basis of only those base year wages earned by the claimant as a "covered individual," as defined in subsection (b) of R.S.43:21‑27; provided further that no benefits shall be payable under this subsection to any individual:

     (A)  For any week with respect to which or a part of which the individual has received or is seeking benefits under any unemployment compensation or disability benefits law of any other state or of the United States; provided that if the appropriate agency of such other state or the United States finally determines that the individual is not entitled to such benefits, this disqualification shall not apply;

     (B)  For any week with respect to which or part of which the individual has received or is seeking disability benefits for a disability of the individual under the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21‑25 et seq.); or

     (C)  For any period of family temporary disability leave commencing while the individual is a "covered individual," as defined in subsection (b) of section 3 of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21‑27).

     (3)   Benefit payments under this subsection (f) shall be charged to and paid from the State disability benefits fund established by the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et seq.), and shall not be charged to any employer account in computing any employer's experience rate for contributions payable under this chapter.

     (g)   Benefits based on service in employment defined in subparagraphs (B) and (C) of R.S.43:21-19 (i)(1) shall be payable in the same amount and on the terms and subject to the same conditions as benefits payable on the basis of other service subject to the "unemployment compensation law"; except that, notwithstanding any other provisions of the "unemployment compensation law":

     (1)   With respect to service performed after December 31, 1977, in an instructional research, or principal administrative capacity for an educational institution, benefits shall not be paid based on such services for any week of unemployment commencing during the period between two successive academic years, or during a similar period between two regular terms, whether or not successive, or during a period of paid sabbatical leave provided for in the individual's contract, to any individual if such individual performs such services in the first of such academic years (or terms) and if there is a contract or a reasonable assurance that such individual will perform services in any such capacity for any educational institution in the second of such academic years or terms;

     (2)   With respect to weeks of unemployment beginning after September 3, 1982, on the basis of service performed in any other capacity for an educational institution, benefits shall not be paid on the basis of such services to any individual for any week which commences during a period between two successive academic years or terms if such individual performs such services in the first of such academic years or terms and there is a reasonable assurance that such individual will perform such services in the second of such academic years or terms, except that if benefits are denied to any individual under this paragraph (2) and the individual was not offered an opportunity to perform these services for the educational institution for the second of any academic years or terms, the individual shall be entitled to a retroactive payment of benefits for each week for which the individual filed a timely claim for benefits and for which benefits were denied solely by reason of this clause;

     (3)   With respect to those services described in paragraphs (1) and (2) above, benefits shall not be paid on the basis of such services to any individual for any week which commences during an established and customary vacation period or holiday recess if such individual performs such services in the period immediately before such vacation period or holiday recess, and there is a reasonable assurance that such individual will perform such services in the period immediately following such period or holiday recess;

     (4)   With respect to any services described in paragraphs (1) and (2) above, benefits shall not be paid as specified in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) above to any individual who performed those services in an educational institution while in the employ of an educational service agency, and for this purpose the term "educational service agency" means a governmental agency or governmental entity which is established and operated exclusively for the purpose of providing those services to one or more educational institutions.

     (h)   Benefits shall not be paid to any individual on the basis of any services, substantially all of which consist of participating in sports or athletic events or training or preparing to so participate, for any week which commences during the period between two successive sports seasons (or similar periods) if such individual performed such services in the first of such seasons (or similar periods) and there is a reasonable assurance that such individual will perform such services in the later of such seasons (or similar periods).

     (i) (1) Benefits shall not be paid on the basis of services performed by an alien unless such alien is an individual who was lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time the services were performed and was lawfully present for the purpose of performing the services or otherwise was permanently residing in the United States under color of law at the time the services were performed (including an alien who is lawfully present in the United States as a result of the application of the provisions of section 212(d)(5) (8 U.S.C. s.1182 (d)(5)) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. s.1101 et seq.)); provided that any modifications of the provisions of section 3304(a)(14) of the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (26 U.S.C. s.3304 (a)(14)), as provided by Pub.L.94-566, which specify other conditions or other effective dates than stated herein for the denial of benefits based on services performed by aliens and which modifications are required to be implemented under State law as a condition for full tax credit against the tax imposed by the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, shall be deemed applicable under the provisions of this section.

     (2)   Any data or information required of individuals applying for benefits to determine whether benefits are not payable to them because of their alien status shall be uniformly required from all applicants for benefits.

     (3)   In the case of an individual whose application for benefits would otherwise be approved, no determination that benefits to such individual are not payable because of alien status shall be made except upon a preponderance of the evidence.

     (j)    Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the director may, to the extent that it may be deemed efficient and economical, provide for consolidated administration by one or more representatives or deputies of claims made pursuant to subsection (f) of this section with those made pursuant to Article III (State plan) of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et seq.).

(cf: P.L.2006, c.47, s.187)

     11.  R.S.43:21‑7 is amended to read as follows:

     43:21-7. Contributions. Employers other than governmental entities, whose benefit financing provisions are set forth in section 4 of P.L.1971, c.346 (C.43:21-7.3), and those nonprofit organizations liable for payment in lieu of contributions on the basis set forth in section 3 of P.L.1971, c.346 (C.43:21-7.2), shall pay to the controller for the unemployment compensation fund, contributions as set forth in subsections (a), (b) and (c) hereof, and the provisions of subsections (d) and (e) shall be applicable to all employers, consistent with the provisions of the "unemployment compensation law" and the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et seq.).

     (a)   Payment.

     (1)   Contributions shall accrue and become payable by each employer for each calendar year in which he is subject to this chapter (R.S.43:21-1 et seq.), with respect to having individuals in his employ during that calendar year, at the rates and on the basis hereinafter set forth.  Such contributions shall become due and be paid by each employer to the controller for the fund, in accordance with such regulations as may be prescribed, and shall not be deducted, in whole or in part, from the remuneration of individuals in his employ.

     (2)   In the payment of any contributions, a fractional part of a cent shall be disregarded unless it amounts to $0.005 or more, in which case it shall be increased to $0.01.

     (b)   Rate of contributions.  Each employer shall pay the following contributions:

     (1)   For the calendar year 1947, and each calendar year thereafter, 2 7/10% of wages paid by him during each such calendar year, except as otherwise prescribed by subsection (c) of this section.

     (2)   The "wages" of any individual, with respect to any one employer, as the term is used in this subsection (b) and in subsections (c), (d) and (e) of this section 7, shall include the first $4,800.00 paid during calendar year 1975, for services performed either within or without this State; provided that no contribution shall be required by this State with respect to services performed in another state if such other state imposes contribution liability with respect thereto.  If an employer (hereinafter referred to as a successor employer) during any calendar year acquires substantially all the property used in a trade or business of another employer (hereinafter referred to as a predecessor), or used in a separate unit of a trade or business of a predecessor, and immediately after the acquisition employs in his trade or business an individual who immediately prior to the acquisition was employed in the trade or business of such predecessors, then, for the purpose of determining whether the successor employer has paid wages with respect to employment equal to the first $4,800.00 paid during calendar year 1975, any wages paid to such individual by such predecessor during such calendar year and prior to such acquisition shall be considered as having been paid by such successor employer.

     (3)   For calendar years beginning on and after January 1, 1976, the "wages" of any individual, as defined in the preceding paragraph (2) of this subsection (b), shall be established and promulgated by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development on or before September 1 of the preceding year and shall be, 28 times the Statewide average weekly remuneration paid to workers by employers, as determined under R.S.43:21-3(c), raised to the next higher multiple of $100.00 if not already a multiple thereof, provided that if the amount of wages so determined for a calendar year is less than the amount similarly determined for the preceding year, the greater amount will be used; provided, further, that if the amount of such wages so determined does not equal or exceed the amount of wages as defined in subsection (b) of section 3306 of the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, Chapter 23 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. s.3306(b)), the wages as determined in this paragraph in any calendar year shall be raised to equal the amount established under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act for that calendar year; provided further that, for the purposes of determining the amount of contributions made by an individual in calendar years beginning on and after January 1, 2008 under the provisions of paragraph (1) (G)(ii) of subsection (d) of this section, the "wages" of the individual shall be all wages paid to the individual by an employer not exceeding the contribution and benefit base as determined under section 230 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. s. 430).

     (c)   Future rates based on benefit experience.

     (1)   A separate account for each employer shall be maintained and this shall be credited with all the contributions which he has paid on his own behalf on or before January 31 of any calendar year with respect to employment occurring in the preceding calendar year; provided, however, that if January 31 of any calendar year falls on a Saturday or Sunday, an employer's account shall be credited as of January 31 of such calendar year with all the contributions which he has paid on or before the next succeeding day which is not a Saturday or Sunday.  But nothing in this chapter (R.S.43:21-1 et seq.) shall be construed to grant any employer or individuals in his service prior claims or rights to the amounts paid by him into the fund either on his own behalf or on behalf of such individuals.  Benefits paid with respect to benefit years commencing on and after January 1, 1953, to any individual on or before December 31 of any calendar year with respect to unemployment in such calendar year and in preceding calendar years shall be charged against the account or accounts of the employer or employers in whose employment such individual established base weeks constituting the basis of such benefits, except that, with respect to benefit years commencing after January 4, 1998, an employer's account shall not be charged for benefits paid to a claimant if the claimant's employment by that employer was ended in any way which, pursuant to subsection (a), (b), (c), (f), (g) or (h) of R.S.43:21-5, would have disqualified the claimant for benefits if the claimant had applied for benefits at the time when that employment ended.  Benefits paid under a given benefit determination shall be charged against the account of the employer to whom such determination relates.  When each benefit payment is made, either a copy of the benefit check or other form of notification shall be promptly sent to the employer against whose account the benefits are to be charged. Such copy or notification shall identify the employer against whose account the amount of such payment is being charged, shall show at least the name and social security account number of the claimant and shall specify the period of unemployment to which said check applies.  If the total amount of benefits paid to a claimant and charged to the account of the appropriate employer exceeds 50% of the total base year, base week wages paid to the claimant by that employer, then such employer shall have canceled from his account such excess benefit charges as specified above.

     Each employer shall be furnished an annual summary statement of benefits charged to his account.

     (2)   Regulations may be prescribed for the establishment, maintenance, and dissolution of joint accounts by two or more employers, and shall, in accordance with such regulations and upon application by two or more employers to establish such an account, or to merge their several individual accounts in a joint account, maintain such joint account as if it constituted a single employer's account.

     (3)   No employer's rate shall be lower than 5.4% unless assignment of such lower rate is consistent with the conditions applicable to additional credit allowance for such year under section 3303(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. s.3303(a)(1)), any other provision of this section to the contrary notwithstanding.

     (4)   Employer Reserve Ratio.  (A) Each employer's rate shall be 2 8/10%, except as otherwise provided in the following provisions.  No employer's rate for the 12 months commencing July 1 of any calendar year shall be other than 2 8/10%, unless as of the preceding January 31 such employer shall have paid contributions with respect to wages paid in each of the three calendar years immediately preceding such year, in which case such employer's rate for the 12 months commencing July 1 of any calendar year shall be determined on the basis of his record up to the beginning of such calendar year.  If, at the beginning of such calendar year, the total of all his contributions, paid on his own behalf, for all past years exceeds the total benefits charged to his account for all such years, his contribution rate shall be:

     (1)   2 5/10%, if such excess equals or exceeds 4%, but less than 5%, of his average annual payroll (as defined in paragraph (2), subsection (a) of R.S.43:21-19);

     (2)   2 2/10%, if such excess equals or exceeds 5%, but is less than 6%, of his average annual payroll;

     (3)   1 9/10%, if such excess equals or exceeds 6%, but is less than 7%, of his average annual payroll;

     (4)   1 6/10%, if such excess equals or exceeds 7%, but is less than 8%, of his average annual payroll;

     (5)   1 3/10%, if such excess equals or exceeds 8%, but is less than 9%, of his average annual payroll;

     (6)   1%, if such excess equals or exceeds 9%, but is less than 10%, of his average annual payroll;

     (7)   7/10 of 1%, if such excess equals or exceeds 10%, but is less than 11%, of his average annual payroll;

     (8)   4/10 of 1%, if such excess equals or exceeds 11% of his average annual payroll.

     (B)  If the total of an employer's contributions, paid on his own behalf, for all past periods for the purposes of this paragraph (4), is less than the total benefits charged against his account during the same period, his rate shall be:

     (1)   4%, if such excess is less than 10% of his average annual payroll;

     (2)   4 3/10%, if such excess equals or exceeds 10%, but is less than 20%, of his average annual payroll;

     (3)   4 6/10%, if such excess equals or exceeds 20% of his average annual payroll.

     (C)  Specially assigned rates.

     (i)    If no contributions were paid on wages for employment in any calendar year used in determining the average annual payroll of an employer eligible for an assigned rate under this paragraph (4), the employer's rate shall be specially assigned as follows:

     if the reserve balance in its account is positive, its assigned rate shall be the highest rate in effect for positive balance accounts for that period, or 5.4%, whichever is higher, and

     if the reserve balance in its account is negative, its assigned rate shall be the highest rate in effect for deficit accounts for that period.

     (ii) If, following the purchase of a corporation with little or no activity, known as a corporate shell, the resulting employing unit operates a new or different business activity, the employing unit shall be assigned a new employer rate.

     (iii) Entities operating under common ownership, management or control, when the operation of the entities is not identifiable, distinguishable and severable, shall be considered a single employer for the purposes of this chapter (R.S. 43:21-1 et seq.).

     (D)  The contribution rates prescribed by subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph (4) shall be increased or decreased in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (5) of this subsection (c) for experience rating periods through June 30, 1986.

     (5) (A) Unemployment Trust Fund Reserve Ratio.  If on March 31 of any calendar year the balance in the unemployment trust fund equals or exceeds 4% but is less than 7% of the total taxable wages reported to the controller as of that date in respect to employment during the preceding calendar year, the contribution rate, effective July 1 following, of each employer eligible for a contribution rate calculation based upon benefit experience, shall be increased by 3/10 of 1% over the contribution rate otherwise established under the provisions of paragraph (3) or (4) of this subsection.  If on March 31 of any calendar year the balance of the unemployment trust fund exceeds 2 1/2% but is less than 4% of the total taxable wages reported to the controller as of that date in respect to employment during the preceding calendar year, the contribution rate, effective July 1 following, of each employer eligible for a contribution rate calculation based upon benefit experience, shall be increased by 6/10 of 1% over the contribution rate otherwise established under the provisions of paragraph (3) or (4) of this subsection.

     If on March 31 of any calendar year the balance of the unemployment trust fund is less than 2 1/2% of the total taxable wages reported to the controller as of that date in respect to employment during the preceding calendar year, the contribution rate, effective July 1 following, of each employer (1) eligible for a contribution rate calculation based upon benefit experience, shall be increased by (i) 6/10 of 1% over the contribution rate otherwise established under the provisions of paragraph (3), (4)(A) or (4)(B) of this subsection, and (ii) an additional amount equal to 20% of the total rate established herein, provided, however, that the final contribution rate for each employer shall be computed to the nearest multiple of 1/10% if not already a multiple thereof; (2) not eligible for a contribution rate calculation based upon benefit experience, shall be increased by 6/10 of 1% over the contribution rate otherwise established under the provisions of paragraph (4) of this subsection. For the period commencing July 1, 1984 and ending June 30, 1986, the contribution rate for each employer liable to pay contributions under R.S.43:21-7 shall be increased by a factor of 10% computed to the nearest multiple of 1/10% if not already a multiple thereof.

     (B)  If on March 31 of any calendar year the balance in the unemployment trust fund equals or exceeds 10% but is less than 12 1/2% of the total taxable wages reported to the controller as of that date in respect to employment during the preceding calendar year, the contribution rate, effective July 1 following, of each employer eligible for a contribution rate calculation based upon benefit experience, shall be reduced by 3/10 of 1% under the contribution rate otherwise established under the provisions of paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection; provided that in no event shall the contribution rate of any employer be reduced to less than 4/10 of 1%. If on March 31 of any calendar year the balance in the unemployment trust fund equals or exceeds 12 1/2% of the total taxable wages reported to the controller as of that date in respect to employment during the preceding calendar year, the contribution rate, effective July 1 following, of each employer eligible for a contribution rate calculation based upon benefit experience, shall be reduced by 6/10 of 1% if his account for all past periods reflects an excess of contributions paid over total benefits charged of 3% or more of his average annual payroll, otherwise by 3/10 of 1% under the contribution rate otherwise established under the provisions of paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection; provided that in no event shall the contribution rate of any employer be reduced to less than 4/10 of 1%.

     (C)  The "balance" in the unemployment trust fund, as the term is used in subparagraphs (A) and (B) above, shall not include moneys credited to the State's account under section 903 of the Social Security Act, as amended (42 U.S.C.s.1103), during any period in which such moneys are appropriated for the payment of expenses incurred in the administration of the "unemployment compensation law."

     (D)  Prior to July 1 of each calendar year the controller shall determine the Unemployment Trust Reserve Ratio, which shall be calculated by dividing the balance of the unemployment trust fund as of the prior March 31 by total taxable wages reported to the controller by all employers as of March 31 with respect to their employment during the last calendar year.

     (E) (i) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1997, c.263).

     (ii)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2001, c.152).

     (iii) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2003, c.107).

     (iv)  (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2004, c.45).

     (v)   [With respect to the experience rating year beginning on July 1, 2003, the new employer rate or the unemployment experience rate of an employer under this section shall be the rate which appears in the column headed by the Unemployment Trust Fund Reserve Ratio as of the applicable calculation date and on the line with the Employer Reserve Ratio, as defined in paragraph 4 of this subsection (R.S.43:21-7 (c)(4)), as set forth in the following table:

 

EXPERIENCE RATING TAX TABLE

Fund Reserve Ratio1

 

                                                2.50%  2.00%  1.50%  1.00%  0.99%

Employer                                  and       to         to         to         and

Reserve                                    Over    2.49%  1.99%  1.49%  Under

Ratio2                                     A         B          C         D         E

Positive Reserve Ratio:

17% and over               0.3       0.4       0.5       0.6       1.2

16.00% to 16.99%                   0.4       0.5       0.6       0.6       1.2

15.00% to 15.99%                   0.4       0.6       0.7       0.7       1.2

14.00% to 14.99%                   0.5       0.6       0.7       0.8       1.2

13.00% to 13.99%                   0.6       0.7       0.8       0.9       1.2

12.00% to 12.99%                   0.6       0.8       0.9       1.0       1.2

11.00% to 11.99%                   0.7       0.8       1.0       1.1       1.2

10.00% to 10.99%                   0.9       1.1       1.3       1.5       1.6

9.00% to 9.99%                       1.0       1.3       1.6       1.7       1.9

8.00% to 8.99%                       1.3       1.6       1.9       2.1       2.3

7.00% to 7.99%                       1.4       1.8       2.2       2.4       2.6

6.00% to 6.99%                       1.7       2.1       2.5       2.8       3.0

5.00% to 5.99%                       1.9       2.4       2.8       3.1       3.4

4.00% to 4.99%                       2.0       2.6       3.1       3.4       3.7

3.00% to 3.99%                       2.1       2.7       3.2       3.6       3.9

2.00% to 2.99%                       2.2       2.8       3.3       3.7       4.0

1.00% to 1.99%                       2.3       2.9       3.4       3.8       4.1

0.00% to 0.99%                       2.4       3.0       3.6       4.0       4.3

Deficit Reserve Ratio:

-0.00% to -2.99%                    3.4       4.3       5.1       5.6       6.1

-3.00% to -5.99%                    3.4       4.3       5.1       5.7       6.2

-6.00% to -8.99%                    3.5       4.4       5.2       5.8       6.3

-9.00% to-11.99%                   3.5       4.5       5.3       5.9       6.4

-12.00% to-14.99%                 3.6       4.6       5.4       6.0       6.5

-15.00% to-19.99%                 3.6       4.6       5.5       6.1       6.6

-20.00% to-24.99%                 3.7       4.7       5.6       6.2       6.7

-25.00% to-29.99%                 3.7       4.8       5.6       6.3       6.8

-30.00%to-34.99%                  3.8       4.8       5.7       6.3       6.9

-35.00% and under                  5.4       5.4       5.8       6.4       7.0

New Employer Rate                 2.8       2.8       2.8       3.1       3.4

     1Fund balance as of March 31 as a percentage of taxable wages in the prior calendar year.

     2Employer Reserve Ratio (Contributions minus benefits as a percentage of employer's taxable wages).] (Deleted by amendment, P.L.       , c.    )

     (vi)  With respect to experience rating years beginning on or after July 1, 2004, the new employer rate or the unemployment experience rate of an employer under this section shall be the rate which appears in the column headed by the Unemployment Trust Fund Reserve Ratio as of the applicable calculation date and on the line with the Employer Reserve Ratio, as defined in paragraph 4 of this subsection (R.S.43:21-7 (c)(4)), as set forth in the following table:


EXPERIENCE RATING TAX TABLE

Fund Reserve Ratio1

 

                                                1.40%  1.00%  0.75%  0.50%  0.49%

Employer                                  and       to         to         to         and

Reserve                                    Over    1.39%  0.99%  0.74%  Under

Ratio2                                      A         B          C         D         E

Positive Reserve Ratio:

17% and over                           0.3       0.4       0.5       0.6       1.2

16.00% to 16.99%                   0.4       0.5       0.6       0.6       1.2

15.00% to 15.99%                   0.4       0.6       0.7       0.7       1.2

14.00% to 14.99%                   0.5       0.6       0.7       0.8       1.2

13.00% to 13.99%                   0.6       0.7       0.8       0.9       1.2

12.00% to 12.99%                   0.6       0.8       0.9       1.0       1.2

11.00% to 11.99%                   0.7       0.8       1.0       1.1       1.2

10.00% to 10.99%                   0.9       1.1       1.3       1.5       1.6

9.00% to 9.99%                       1.0       1.3       1.6       1.7       1.9

8.00% to 8.99%                       1.3       1.6       1.9       2.1       2.3

7.00% to 7.99%                       1.4       1.8       2.2       2.4       2.6

6.00% to 6.99%                       1.7       2.1       2.5       2.8       3.0

5.00% to 5.99%                       1.9       2.4       2.8       3.1       3.4

4.00% to 4.99%                       2.0       2.6       3.1       3.4       3.7

3.00% to 3.99%                       2.1       2.7       3.2       3.6       3.9

2.00% to 2.99%                       2.2       2.8       3.3       3.7       4.0

1.00% to 1.99%                       2.3       2.9       3.4       3.8       4.1

0.00% to 0.99%                       2.4       3.0       3.6       4.0       4.3

Deficit Reserve Ratio:

-0.00% to -2.99%                    3.4       4.3       5.1       5.6       6.1

-3.00% to -5.99%                    3.4       4.3       5.1       5.7       6.2

-6.00% to -8.99%                    3.5       4.4       5.2       5.8       6.3

-9.00% to-11.99%                   3.5       4.5       5.3       5.9       6.4

-12.00% to-14.99%                 3.6       4.6       5.4       6.0       6.5

-15.00% to-19.99%                 3.6       4.6       5.5       6.1       6.6

-20.00% to-24.99%                 3.7       4.7       5.6       6.2       6.7

-25.00% to-29.99%                 3.7       4.8       5.6       6.3       6.8

-30.00% to-34.99%                 3.8       4.8       5.7       6.3       6.9

-35.00% and under                  5.4       5.4       5.8       6.4       7.0

New Employer Rate                 2.8       2.8       2.8       3.1       3.4

     1Fund balance as of March 31 as a percentage of taxable wages in the prior calendar year.

     2Employer Reserve Ratio (Contributions minus benefits as a percentage of employer's taxable wages).

     (F) (i) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1997, c.263).

     (ii)   [With respect to experience rating years beginning on or after July 1, 1997, if the fund reserve ratio, based on the fund balance as of the prior March 31, is less than 1.00%, the contribution rate for each employer liable to pay contributions, as computed under subparagraph (E) of this paragraph (5), shall be increased by a factor of 10% computed to the nearest multiple of 1/10% if not already a multiple thereof.] (Deleted by amendment, P.L.       , c.    )

     (iii) With respect to experience rating years beginning on or after July 1, 2004, if the fund reserve ratio, based on the fund balance as of the prior March 31, is less than 0.50%, the contribution rate for each employer liable to pay contributions, as computed under subparagraph (E) of this paragraph (5), shall be increased by a factor of 10% computed to the nearest multiple of 1/10% if not already a multiple thereof.

     (G)  On or after January 1, 1993, notwithstanding any other provisions of this paragraph (5), the contribution rate for each employer liable to pay contributions, as computed under subparagraph (E) of this paragraph (5), shall be decreased by 0.1%, except that, during any experience rating year starting before January 1, 1998 in which the fund reserve ratio is equal to or greater than 7.00% or during any experience rating year starting on or after January 1, 1998, in which the fund reserve ratio is equal to or greater than 3.5%, there shall be no decrease pursuant to this subparagraph (G) in the contribution of any employer who has a deficit reserve ratio of negative 35.00% or under.

     (H)  [On or after January 1, 1993 until December 31, 1993, notwithstanding any other provisions of this paragraph (5), the contribution rate for each employer liable to pay contributions, as computed under subparagraph (E) of this paragraph (5), shall be decreased by a factor of 52.0% computed to the nearest multiple of 1/10%, except that, if an employer has a deficit reserve ratio of negative 35.0% or under, the employer's rate of contribution shall not be reduced pursuant to this subparagraph (H) to less than 5.4%.  The amount of the reduction in the employer contributions stipulated by this subparagraph (H) shall be in addition to the amount of the reduction in the employer contributions stipulated by subparagraph (G) of this paragraph (5), except that the rate of contribution of an employer who has a deficit reserve ratio of negative 35.0% or under shall not be reduced pursuant to this subparagraph (H) to less than 5.4% and the rate of contribution of any other employer shall not be reduced to less than 0.0%.  On or after January 1, 1994 until December 31, 1995, except as provided pursuant to subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (5), notwithstanding any other provisions of this paragraph (5), the contribution rate for each employer liable to pay contributions, as computed under subparagraph (E) of this paragraph (5), shall be decreased by a factor of 36.0% computed to the nearest multiple of 1/10%, except that, if an employer has a deficit reserve ratio of negative 35.0% or under, the employer's rate of contribution shall not be reduced pursuant to this subparagraph (H) to less than 5.4%.  The amount of the reduction in the employer contributions stipulated by this subparagraph (H) shall be in addition to the amount of the reduction in the employer contributions stipulated by subparagraph (G) of this paragraph (5), except that the rate of contribution of an employer who has a deficit reserve ratio of negative 35.0% or under shall not be reduced pursuant to this subparagraph (H) to less than 5.4% and the rate of contribution of any other employer shall not be reduced to less than 0.0%.

     On or after April 1, 1996 until December 31, 1996, the contribution rate for each employer liable to pay contributions, as computed under subparagraph (E) of this paragraph (5), shall be decreased by a factor of 25.0% computed to the nearest multiple of 1/10%, except that, if an employer has a deficit reserve ratio of negative 35.0% or under, the employer's rate of contribution shall not be reduced pursuant to this subparagraph (H) to less than 5.4%.  The amount of the reduction in the employer contributions stipulated by this subparagraph (H) shall be in addition to the amount of the reduction in the employer contributions stipulated by subparagraph (G) of this paragraph (5), except that the rate of contribution of an employer who has a deficit reserve ratio of negative 35.0% or under shall not be reduced pursuant to this subparagraph (H) to less than 5.4% and the rate of contribution of any other employer shall not be reduced to less than 0.0%.

     On or after January 1, 1997 until December 31, 1997, the contribution rate for each employer liable to pay contributions, as computed under subparagraph (E) of this paragraph (5), shall be decreased by a factor of 10.0% computed to the nearest multiple of 1/10%, except that, if an employer has a deficit reserve ratio of negative 35.0% or under, the employer's rate of contribution shall not be reduced pursuant to this subparagraph (H) to less than 5.4%.  The amount of the reduction in the employer contributions stipulated by this subparagraph (H) shall be in addition to the amount of the reduction in the employer contributions stipulated by subparagraph (G) of this paragraph (5), except that the rate of contribution of an employer who has a deficit reserve ratio of negative 35.0% or under shall not be reduced pursuant to this subparagraph (H) to less than 5.4% and the rate of contribution of any other employer shall not be reduced to less than 0.0%.] (Deleted by amendment, P.L.       , c.    )

     On and after January 1, 1998 until December 31, 2000 and on or after January 1, 2002 until June 30, 2006, the contribution rate for each employer liable to pay contributions, as computed under subparagraph (E) of this paragraph (5), shall be decreased by a factor, as set out below, computed to the nearest multiple of 1/10%, except that, if an employer has a deficit reserve ratio of negative 35.0% or under, the employer's rate of contribution shall not be reduced pursuant to this subparagraph (H) to less than 5.4%:

     From January 1, 1998 until December 31, 1998, a factor of 12%;

     From January 1, 1999 until December 31, 1999, a factor of 10%;

     From January 1, 2000 until December 31, 2000, a factor of 7%;

     From January 1, 2002 until March 31, 2002, a factor of 36%;

     From April 1, 2002 until June 30, 2002, a factor of 85%;

     From July 1, 2002 until June 30, 2003, a factor of 15%;

     From July 1, 2003 until June 30, 2004, a factor of 15%;

     From July 1, 2004 until June 30, 2005, a factor of 7%;

     From July 1, 2005 until December 31, 2005, a factor of 16%; and

     From January 1, 2006 until June 30, 2006, a factor of 34%.

     The amount of the reduction in the employer contributions stipulated by this subparagraph (H) shall be in addition to the amount of the reduction in the employer contributions stipulated by subparagraph (G) of this paragraph (5), except that the rate of contribution of an employer who has a deficit reserve ratio of negative 35.0% or under shall not be reduced pursuant to this subparagraph (H) to less than 5.4% and the rate of contribution of any other employer shall not be reduced to less than 0.0%.

     (I)    [If the fund reserve ratio decreases to a level of less than 4.00% on March 31 of calendar year 1994 or calendar year 1995, the provisions of subparagraph (H) of this paragraph (5) shall cease to be in effect as of July 1 of that calendar year.

     If, upon calculating the unemployment compensation fund reserve ratio pursuant to R.S.43:21-7(c)(5)(D) prior to March 31, 1997, March 31, 1998 or March 31, 1999, the controller finds that the fund reserve ratio has decreased to a level of less than 3.00%, the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development shall notify the State Treasurer of this fact and of the dollar amount necessary to bring the fund reserve ratio up to a level of 3.00%.  The State Treasurer shall, prior to March 31, 1997, March 31, 1998 or March 31, 1999, as applicable, transfer from the General Fund to the unemployment compensation fund, revenues in the amount specified by the commissioner and which, upon deposit in the unemployment compensation fund, shall result, upon recalculation, in a fund reserve ratio used to determine employer contributions beginning July 1, 1997, July 1, 1998, July 1, 1999, as applicable, of at least 3.00%. If, upon calculating the unemployment compensation fund reserve ratio pursuant to R.S.43:21-7(c)(5)(D) prior to March 31, 2000, the controller finds that the fund reserve ratio has decreased to a level of less than 3.00%, the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development shall notify the State Treasurer of this fact and of the dollar amount necessary to bring the fund reserve ratio up to a level of 3.00%.  The State Treasurer shall, prior to March 31, 2000, transfer from the General Fund to the unemployment compensation fund, revenues in the amount specified by the commissioner and which, upon deposit in the unemployment compensation fund, shall result, upon recalculation, in a fund reserve ratio used to determine employer contributions beginning July 1, 2000 of at least 3.00%.] (Deleted by amendment, P.L.       , c.    )

     (J)   On or after July 1, 2001, notwithstanding any other provisions of this paragraph (5), the contribution rate for each employer liable to pay contributions, as computed under subparagraph (E) of this paragraph (5), shall be decreased by 0.0175%, except that, during any experience rating year starting on or after July 1, 2001, in which the fund reserve ratio is equal to or greater than 3.5%, there shall be no decrease pursuant to this subparagraph (J) in the contribution of any employer who has a deficit reserve ratio of negative 35.00% or under. The amount of the reduction in the employer contributions stipulated by this subparagraph (J) shall be in addition to the amount of the reduction in the employer contributions stipulated by subparagraphs (G) and (H) of this paragraph (5), except that the rate of contribution of an employer who has a deficit reserve ratio of negative 35.0% or under shall not be reduced pursuant to this subparagraph (J) to less than 5.4% and the rate of contribution of any other employer shall not be reduced to less than 0.0%.

     (6)   Additional contributions.

     Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any employer who has been assigned a contribution rate pursuant to subsection (c) of this section for the year commencing July 1, 1948, and for any year commencing July 1 thereafter, may voluntarily make payment of additional contributions, and upon such payment shall receive a recomputation of the experience rate applicable to such employer, including in the calculation the additional contribution so made, except that, following a transfer as described under R.S.43:21-7(c)(7)(D), neither the predecessor nor successor in interest shall be eligible to make a voluntary payment of additional contributions during the year the transfer occurs and the next full calendar year. Any such additional contribution shall be made during the 30-day period following the date of the mailing to the employer of the notice of his contribution rate as prescribed in this section, unless, for good cause, the time for payment has been extended by the controller for not to exceed an additional 60 days; provided that in no event may such payments which are made later than 120 days after the beginning of the year for which such rates are effective be considered in determining the experience rate for the year in which the payment is made.  Any employer receiving any extended period of time within which to make such additional payment and failing to make such payment timely shall be, in addition to the required amount of additional payment, liable for a penalty of 5% thereof or $5.00, whichever is greater, not to exceed $50.00. Any adjustment under this subsection shall be made only in the form of credits against accrued or future contributions.

     (7)   Transfers.

     (A)  Upon the transfer of the organization, trade or business, or substantially all the assets of an employer to a successor in interest, whether by merger, consolidation, sale, transfer, descent or otherwise, the controller shall transfer the employment experience of the predecessor employer to the successor in interest, including credit for past years, contributions paid, annual payrolls, benefit charges, et cetera, applicable to such predecessor employer, pursuant to regulation, if it is determined that the employment experience of the predecessor employer with respect to the organization, trade, assets or business which has been transferred may be considered indicative of the future employment experience of the successor in interest.  The successor in interest may, within four months of the date of such transfer of the organization, trade, assets or business, or thereafter upon good cause shown, request a reconsideration of the transfer of employment experience of the predecessor employer. The request for reconsideration shall demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the controller, that the employment experience of the predecessor is not indicative of the future employment experience of the successor.

     (B)  An employer who transfers part of his or its organization, trade, assets or business to a successor in interest, whether by merger, consolidation, sale, transfer, descent or otherwise, may jointly make application with such successor in interest for transfer of that portion of the employment experience of the predecessor employer relating to the portion of the organization, trade, assets or business transferred to the successor in interest, including credit for past years, contributions paid, annual payrolls, benefit charges, et cetera, applicable to such predecessor employer.  The transfer of employment experience may be allowed pursuant to regulation only if it is found that the employment experience of the predecessor employer with respect to the portion of the organization, trade, assets or business which has been transferred may be considered indicative of the future employment experience of the successor in interest.  Credit shall be given to the successor in interest only for the years during which contributions were paid by the predecessor employer with respect to that part of the organization, trade, assets or business transferred.

     (C)  A transfer of the employment experience in whole or in part having become final, the predecessor employer thereafter shall not be entitled to consideration for an adjusted rate based upon his or its experience or the part thereof, as the case may be, which has thus been transferred.  A successor in interest to whom employment experience or a part thereof is transferred pursuant to this subsection shall, as of the date of the transfer of the organization, trade, assets or business, or part thereof, immediately become an employer if not theretofore an employer subject to this chapter (R.S.43:21-1 et seq.).

     (D) If an employer who transfers in whole or in part his or its organization, trade, assets or business to a successor in interest, whether by merger, consolidation, sale, transfer, descent or otherwise and both the employer and successor in interest are at the time of the transfer under common ownership, management or control, then the employment experience attributable to the transferred business shall also be transferred to and combined with the employment experience of the successor in interest.  The transfer of the employment experience is mandatory and not subject to appeal or protest.

     (E) The transfer of part of an employer's employment experience to a successor in interest shall become effective as of the first day of the calendar quarter following the acquisition by the successor in interest.  As of the effective date, the successor in interest shall have its employer rate recalculated by merging its existing employment experience, if any, with the employment experience acquired.  If the successor in interest is not an employer as of the date of acquisition, it shall be assigned the new employer rate until the effective date of the transfer of employment experience.

     (F) Upon the transfer in whole or in part of the organization, trade, assets or business to a successor in interest, the employment experience shall not be transferred if the successor in interest is not an employer at the time of the acquisition and the controller finds that the successor in interest acquired the business solely or primarily for the purpose of obtaining a lower rate of contributions.

     (d)   Contributions of workers to the unemployment compensation fund and the State disability benefits fund.

     (1) (A) For periods after January 1, 1975, each worker shall contribute to the fund 1% of his wages with respect to his employment with an employer, which occurs on and after January 1, 1975, after such employer has satisfied the condition set forth in subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19 with respect to becoming an employer; provided, however, that such contributions shall be at the rate of 1/2 of 1% of wages paid with respect to employment while the worker is in the employ of the State of New Jersey, or any governmental entity or instrumentality which is an employer as defined under R.S.43:21-19(h)(5), or is covered by an approved private plan under the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" or while the worker is exempt from the provisions of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" under section 7 of that law, P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-31).

     (B)  Effective January 1, 1978 there shall be no contributions by workers in the employ of any governmental or nongovernmental employer electing or required to make payments in lieu of contributions unless the employer is covered by the State plan under the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" (C.43:21-25 et seq.), and in that case contributions shall be at the rate of 1/2 of 1%, except that commencing July 1, 1986, workers in the employ of any nongovernmental employer electing or required to make payments in lieu of contributions shall be required to make contributions to the fund at the same rate prescribed for workers of other nongovernmental employers.

     (C) (i) Notwithstanding the above provisions of this paragraph (1), during the period starting July 1, 1986 and ending December 31, 1992, each worker shall contribute to the fund 1.125% of wages paid with respect to his employment with a governmental employer electing or required to pay contributions or nongovernmental employer, including a nonprofit organization which is an employer as defined under R.S.43:21-19(h)(6), regardless of whether that nonprofit organization elects or is required to finance its benefit costs with contributions to the fund or by payments in lieu of contributions, after that employer has satisfied the conditions set forth in subsection R.S.43:21-19(h) with respect to becoming an employer.  Contributions, however, shall be at the rate of 0.625% while the worker is covered by an approved private plan under the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" while the worker is exempt under section 7 of that law, P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-31) or any other provision of that law; provided that such contributions shall be at the rate of 0.625% of wages paid with respect to employment with the State of New Jersey or any other governmental entity or instrumentality electing or required to make payments in lieu of contributions and which is covered by the State plan under the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," except that, while the worker is exempt from the provisions of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" under section 7 of that law, P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-31) or any other provision of that law, or is covered for disability benefits by an approved private plan of the employer, the contributions to the fund shall be 0.125%.

     (ii)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1995, c.422.)

     (D)  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this paragraph (1), during the period starting January 1, 1993 and ending June 30, 1994, each worker shall contribute to the unemployment compensation fund 0.5% of wages paid with respect to the worker's employment with a governmental employer electing or required to pay contributions or nongovernmental employer, including a nonprofit organization which is an employer as defined under paragraph (6) of subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19, regardless of whether that nonprofit organization elects or is required to finance its benefit costs with contributions to the fund or by payments in lieu of contributions, after that employer has satisfied the conditions set forth in subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19 with respect to becoming an employer.  No contributions, however, shall be made by the worker while the worker is covered by an approved private plan under the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et seq.) or while the worker is exempt under section 7 of P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-31) or any other provision of that law; provided that the contributions shall be at the rate of 0.50% of wages paid with respect to employment with the State of New Jersey or any other governmental entity or instrumentality electing or required to make payments in lieu of contributions and which is covered by the State plan under the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," except that, while the worker is exempt from the provisions of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" under section 7 of that law, P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-31) or any other provision of that law, or is covered for disability benefits by an approved private plan of the employer, no contributions shall be made to the fund.

     Each worker shall, starting on January 1, 1996 and ending March 31, 1996, contribute to the unemployment compensation fund 0.60% of wages paid with respect to the worker's employment with a governmental employer electing or required to pay contributions or nongovernmental employer, including a nonprofit organization which is an employer as defined under paragraph (6) of subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19, regardless of whether that nonprofit organization elects or is required to finance its benefit costs with contributions to the fund or by payments in lieu of contributions, after that employer has satisfied the conditions set forth in subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19 with respect to becoming an employer, provided that the contributions shall be at the rate of 0.10% of wages paid with respect to employment with the State of New Jersey or any other governmental entity or instrumentality electing or required to make payments in lieu of contributions.

     Each worker shall, starting on January 1, 1998 and ending December 31, 1998, contribute to the unemployment compensation fund 0.10% of wages paid with respect to the worker's employment with a governmental employer electing or required to pay contributions or nongovernmental employer, including a nonprofit organization which is an employer as defined under paragraph (6) of subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19, regardless of whether that nonprofit organization elects or is required to finance its benefit costs with contributions to the fund or by payments in lieu of contributions, after that employer has satisfied the conditions set forth in subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19 with respect to becoming an employer, provided that the contributions shall be at the rate of 0.10% of wages paid with respect to employment with the State of New Jersey or any other governmental entity or instrumentality electing or required to make payments in lieu of contributions.

     Each worker shall, starting on January 1, 1999 until December 31, 1999, contribute to the unemployment compensation fund 0.15% of wages paid with respect to the worker's employment with a governmental employer electing or required to pay contributions or nongovernmental employer, including a nonprofit organization which is an employer as defined under paragraph (6) of subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19, regardless of whether that nonprofit organization elects or is required to finance its benefit costs with contributions to the fund or by payments in lieu of contributions, after that employer has satisfied the conditions set forth in subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19 with respect to becoming an employer, provided that the contributions shall be at the rate of 0.10% of wages paid with respect to employment with the State of New Jersey or any other governmental entity or instrumentality electing or required to make payments in lieu of contributions.

     Each worker shall, starting on January 1, 2000 until December 31, 2001, contribute to the unemployment compensation fund 0.20% of wages paid with respect to the worker's employment with a governmental employer electing or required to pay contributions or nongovernmental employer, including a nonprofit organization which is an employer as defined under paragraph (6) of subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19, regardless of whether that nonprofit organization elects or is required to finance its benefit costs with contributions to the fund or by payments in lieu of contributions, after that employer has satisfied the conditions set forth in subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19 with respect to becoming an employer, provided that the contributions shall be at the rate of 0.10% of wages paid with respect to employment with the State of New Jersey or any other governmental entity or instrumentality electing or required to make payments in lieu of contributions.

     Each worker shall, starting on January 1, 2002 until June 30, 2004, contribute to the unemployment compensation fund 0.1825% of wages paid with respect to the worker's employment with a governmental employer electing or required to pay contributions or a nongovernmental employer, including a nonprofit organization which is an employer as defined under paragraph (6) of subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19, regardless of whether that nonprofit organization elects or is required to finance its benefit costs with contributions to the fund or by payments in lieu of contributions, after that employer has satisfied the conditions set forth in subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19 with respect to becoming an employer, provided that the contributions shall be at the rate of 0.0825% of wages paid with respect to employment with the State of New Jersey or any other governmental entity or instrumentality electing or required to make payments in lieu of contributions.

     Each worker shall, starting on and after July 1, 2004, contribute to the unemployment compensation fund 0.3825% of wages paid with respect to the worker's employment with a governmental employer electing or required to pay contributions or nongovernmental employer, including a nonprofit organization which is an employer as defined under paragraph (6) of subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19, regardless of whether that nonprofit organization elects or is required to finance its benefit costs with contributions to the fund or by payments in lieu of contributions, after that employer has satisfied the conditions set forth in subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19 with respect to becoming an employer, provided that the contributions shall be at the rate of 0.0825% of wages paid with respect to employment with the State of New Jersey or any other governmental entity or instrumentality electing or required to make payments in lieu of contributions.

     (E)   Each employer shall, notwithstanding any provision of law in this State to the contrary, withhold in trust the amount of his workers' contributions from their wages at the time such wages are paid, shall show such deduction on his payroll records, shall furnish such evidence thereof to his workers as the division or controller may prescribe, and shall transmit all such contributions, in addition to his own contributions, to the office of the controller in such manner and at such times as may be prescribed.  If any employer fails to deduct the contributions of any of his workers at the time their wages are paid, or fails to make a deduction therefor at the time wages are paid for the next succeeding payroll period, he alone shall thereafter be liable for such contributions, and for the purpose of R.S.43:21-14, such contributions shall be treated as employer's contributions required from him.

     (F)   As used in this chapter (R.S.43:21-1 et seq.), except when the context clearly requires otherwise, the term "contributions" shall include the contributions of workers pursuant to this section.

     (G) (i)  Each worker shall, starting on July 1, 1994, contribute to the State disability benefits fund an amount equal to 0.50% of wages paid with respect to the worker's employment with a government employer electing or required to pay contributions to the State disability benefits fund or nongovernmental employer, including a nonprofit organization which is an employer as defined under paragraph (6) of subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19, unless the employer is covered by an approved private disability plan or is exempt from the provisions of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et seq.) under section 7 of that law (C.43:21-31) or any other provision of that law.

     (ii)  During calendar year 2008, each worker shall contribute to the State disability benefits fund, in addition to any amount contributed pursuant to subparagraph (i) of this subparagraph (G), an amount equal to 0.1% of wages paid with respect to the worker's employment with any covered employer, including a governmental employer which is an employer as defined under paragraph (5) of subsection (h) of R.S.43:21‑19, unless the employer is covered by an approved private disability plan.  The contributions made pursuant to this subparagraph (ii) to the State disability benefits fund shall be deposited into an account reserved for the payment of benefits during periods of family disability leave as defined in section 3 of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21‑27) and for the administration of those payments and shall not be used for any other purpose.  For calendar year 2009 and each calendar year after that year, the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development shall make a determination of the annual rate of contribution to be paid by workers pursuant to this paragraph (ii), which shall be the rate that the commissioner finds sufficient to obtain a total amount of contributions equal to 125% of the benefits estimated by the commissioner to be payable for periods of family disability leave during the calendar year plus 100% of the amount estimated by the commissioner to be necessary for the cost of administration of the payment of those benefits, less the amount estimated by the commissioner of net assets which will remain in the account as of December 31 of the immediately preceding year.  Necessary administration costs shall include the cost of an outreach program to inform employees of the availability of the benefits and the cost of issuing annual reports on usage rates, reasons for leave, benefits paid, demographics of participants, and other relevant information as determined by the commissioner.

     (2) (A) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1984, c.24.)

     (B)  (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1984, c.24.)

     (C)  (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1994, c.112.)

     (D)  (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1994, c.112.)

     (E) (i) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1994, c.112.)

     (ii)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1996, c.28.)

     (iii) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1994, c.112.)

     (3)   If an employee receives wages from more than one employer during any calendar year, and either the sum of his contributions deposited in and credited to the State disability benefits fund plus the amount of his contributions, if any, required towards the costs of benefits under one or more approved private plans under the provisions of section 9 of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" (C.43:21-33) and deducted from his wages, or the sum of such latter contributions, if the employee is covered during such calendar year only by two or more private plans, exceeds an amount equal to 1/2 of 1% of the "wages" determined in accordance with the provisions of R.S.43:21-7(b)(3) during the calendar years beginning on or after January 1, 1976, the employee shall be entitled to a refund of the excess if he makes a claim to the controller within two years after the end of the calendar year in which the wages are received with respect to which the refund is claimed and establishes his right to such refund. Such refund shall be made by the controller from the State disability benefits fund.  No interest shall be allowed or paid with respect to any such refund.  The controller shall, in accordance with prescribed regulations, determine the portion of the aggregate amount of such refunds made during any calendar year which is applicable to private plans for which deductions were made under section 9 of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" (C.43:21-33) such determination to be based upon the ratio of the amount of such wages exempt from contributions to such fund, as provided in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of this subsection with respect to coverage under private plans, to the total wages so exempt plus the amount of such wages subject to contributions to the disability benefits fund, as provided in subparagraph (G) of paragraph (1) of this subsection.  The controller shall, in accordance with prescribed regulations, prorate the amount so determined among the applicable private plans in the proportion that the wages covered by each plan bear to the total private plan wages involved in such refunds, and shall assess against and recover from the employer, or the insurer if the insurer has indemnified the employer with respect thereto, the amount so prorated.  The provisions of R.S.43:21-14 with respect to collection of employer contributions shall apply to such assessments.  The amount so recovered by the controller shall be paid into the State disability benefits fund.

     (4)   If an individual does not receive any wages from the employing unit which for the purposes of this chapter (R.S.43:21-1 et seq.) is treated as his employer, or receives his wages from some other employing unit, such employer shall nevertheless be liable for such individual's contributions in the first instance; and after payment thereof such employer may deduct the amount of such contributions from any sums payable by him to such employing unit, or may recover the amount of such contributions from such employing unit, or, in the absence of such an employing unit, from such individual, in a civil action; provided proceedings therefor are instituted within three months after the date on which such contributions are payable. General rules shall be prescribed whereby such an employing unit may recover the amount of such contributions from such individuals in the same manner as if it were the employer.

     (5)   Every employer who has elected to become an employer subject to this chapter (R.S.43:21-1 et seq.), or to cease to be an employer subject to this chapter (R.S.43:21-1 et seq.), pursuant to the provisions of R.S.43:21-8, shall post and maintain printed notices of such election on his premises, of such design, in such numbers, and at such places as the director may determine to be necessary to give notice thereof to persons in his service.

     (6)   Contributions by workers, payable to the controller as herein provided, shall be exempt from garnishment, attachment, execution, or any other remedy for the collection of debts.

     (e)   Contributions by employers to State disability benefits fund.

     (1)   Except as hereinafter provided, each employer shall, in addition to the contributions required by subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this section, contribute 1/2 of 1% of the wages paid by such employer to workers with respect to employment unless he is not a covered employer as defined in section 3 of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" (C.43:21-27 (a)), except that the rate for the State of New Jersey shall be 1/10 of 1% for the calendar year 1980 and for the first six months of 1981.  Prior to July 1, 1981 and prior to July 1 each year thereafter, the controller shall review the experience accumulated in the account of the State of New Jersey and establish a rate for the next following fiscal year which, in combination with worker contributions, will produce sufficient revenue to keep the account in balance; except that the rate so established shall not be less than 1/10 of 1%.  Such contributions shall become due and be paid by the employer to the controller for the State disability benefits fund as established by law, in accordance with such regulations as may be prescribed, and shall not be deducted, in whole or in part, from the remuneration of individuals in his employ.  In the payment of any contributions, a fractional part of a cent shall be disregarded unless it amounts to $0.005 or more, in which case it shall be increased to $0.01.

     (2)   During the continuance of coverage of a worker by an approved private plan of disability benefits under the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," the employer shall be exempt from the contributions required by subparagraph (1) above with respect to wages paid to such worker.

     (3) (A) The rates of contribution as specified in subparagraph (1) above shall be subject to modification as provided herein with respect to employer contributions due on and after July 1, 1951.

     (B)  A separate disability benefits account shall be maintained for each employer required to contribute to the State disability benefits fund and such account shall be credited with contributions deposited in and credited to such fund with respect to employment occurring on and after January 1, 1949.  Each employer's account shall be credited with all contributions paid on or before January 31 of any calendar year on his own behalf and on behalf of individuals in his service with respect to employment occurring in preceding calendar years; provided, however, that if January 31 of any calendar year falls on a Saturday or Sunday an employer's account shall be credited as of January 31 of such calendar year with all the contributions which he has paid on or before the next succeeding day which is not a Saturday or Sunday.  But nothing in this act shall be construed to grant any employer or individuals in his service prior claims or rights to the amounts paid by him to the fund either on his own behalf or on behalf of such individuals.  Benefits paid to any covered individual in accordance with Article III of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" on or before December 31 of any calendar year with respect to disability in such calendar year and in preceding calendar years shall be charged against the account of the employer by whom such individual was employed at the commencement of such disability or by whom he was last employed, if out of employment.

     (C)  The controller may prescribe regulations for the establishment, maintenance, and dissolution of joint accounts by two or more employers, and shall, in accordance with such regulations and upon application by two or more employers to establish such an account, or to merge their several individual accounts in a joint account, maintain such joint account as if it constituted a single employer's account.

     (D)  Prior to July 1 of each calendar year, the controller shall make a preliminary determination of the rate of contribution for the 12 months commencing on such July 1 for each employer subject to the contribution requirements of this subsection (e).

     (1)   Such preliminary rate shall be 1/2 of 1% unless on the preceding January 31 of such year such employer shall have been a covered employer who has paid contributions to the State disability benefits fund with respect to employment in the three calendar years immediately preceding such year.

     (2)   If the minimum requirements in (1) above have been fulfilled and the credited contributions exceed the benefits charged by more than $500.00, such preliminary rate shall be as follows:

     (i)    2/10 of 1% if such excess over $500.00 exceeds 1% but is less than 1 1/4% of his average annual payroll as defined in this chapter (R.S.43:21-1 et seq.);

     (ii)   15/100 of 1% if such excess over $500.00 equals or exceeds 1 1/4% but is less than 1 1/2% of his average annual payroll;

     (iii) 1/10 of 1% if such excess over $500.00 equals or exceeds 1 1/2% of his average annual payroll.

     (3)   If the minimum requirements in (1) above have been fulfilled and the contributions credited exceed the benefits charged but by not more than $500.00 plus 1% of his average annual payroll, or if the benefits charged exceed the contributions credited but by not more than $500.00, the preliminary rate shall be 1/4 of 1%.

     (4)   If the minimum requirements in (1) above have been fulfilled and the benefits charged exceed the contributions credited by more than $500.00, such preliminary rate shall be as follows:

     (i)    35/100 of 1% if such excess over $500.00 is less than 1/4 of 1% of his average annual payroll;

     (ii)   45/100 of 1% if such excess over $500.00 equals or exceeds 1/4 of 1% but is less than 1/2 of 1% of his average annual payroll;

     (iii) 55/100 of 1% if such excess over $500.00 equals or exceeds 1/2 of 1% but is less than 3/4 of 1% of his average annual payroll;

     (iv)  65/100 of 1% if such excess over $500.00 equals or exceeds 3/4 of 1% but is less than 1% of his average annual payroll;

     (v)   75/100 of 1% if such excess over $500.00 equals or exceeds 1% of his average annual payroll.

     (5)   Determination of the preliminary rate as specified in (2), (3) and (4) above shall be subject, however, to the condition that it shall in no event be decreased by more than 1/10 of 1% of wages or increased by more than 2/10 of 1% of wages from the preliminary rate determined for the preceding year in accordance with (1), (2), (3) or (4), whichever shall have been applicable.

     (E) (1) Prior to July 1 of each calendar year the controller shall determine the amount of the State disability benefits fund as of December 31 of the preceding calendar year, increased by the contributions paid thereto during January of the current calendar year with respect to employment occurring in the preceding calendar year. If such amount exceeds the net amount withdrawn from the unemployment trust fund pursuant to section 23 of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-47) plus the amount at the end of such preceding calendar year of the unemployment disability account as defined in section 22 of said law (C.43:21-46), such excess shall be expressed as a percentage of the wages on which contributions were paid to the State disability benefits fund on or before January 31 with respect to employment in the preceding calendar year.

     (2)   The controller shall then make a final determination of the rates of contribution for the 12 months commencing July 1 of such year for employers whose preliminary rates are determined as provided in (D) hereof, as follows:

     (i)    If the percentage determined in accordance with paragraph (E)(1) of this subsection equals or exceeds 1 1/4%, the final employer rates shall be the preliminary rates determined as provided in (D) hereof, except that if the employer's preliminary rate is determined as provided in (D)(2) or (D)(3) hereof, the final employer rate shall be the preliminary employer rate decreased by such percentage of excess taken to the nearest 5/100 of 1%, but in no case shall such final rate be less than 1/10 of 1%.

     (ii)   If the percentage determined in accordance with paragraph (E)(1) of this subsection equals or exceeds 3/4 of 1% and is less than 1 1/4 of 1%, the final employer rates shall be the preliminary employer rates.

     (iii) If the percentage determined in accordance with paragraph (E)(1) of this subsection is less than 3/4 of 1%, but in excess of 1/4 of 1%, the final employer rates shall be the preliminary employer rates determined as provided in (D) hereof increased by the difference between 3/4 of 1% and such percentage taken to the nearest 5/100 of 1%; provided, however, that no such final rate shall be more than 1/4 of 1% in the case of an employer whose preliminary rate is determined as provided in (D)(2) hereof, more than 1/2 of 1% in the case of an employer whose preliminary rate is determined as provided in (D)(1) and (D)(3) hereof, nor more than 3/4 of 1% in the case of an employer whose preliminary rate is determined as provided in (D)(4) hereof.

     (iv)  If the amount of the State disability benefits fund determined as provided in paragraph (E)(1) of this subsection is equal to or less than 1/4 of 1%, then the final rate shall be 2/5 of 1% in the case of an employer whose preliminary rate is determined as provided in (D)(2) hereof, 7/10 of 1% in the case of an employer whose preliminary rate is determined as provided in (D)(1) and (D)(3) hereof, and 1.1% in the case of an employer whose preliminary rate is determined as provided in (D)(4) hereof. Notwithstanding any other provision of law or any determination made by the controller with respect to any 12-month period commencing on July 1, 1970, the final rates for all employers for the period beginning January 1, 1971, shall be as set forth herein.

     (F)  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this subsection (e), the rate of contribution paid to the State disability benefits fund by each covered employer as defined in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of section 3 of P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-27), shall be determined as if:

     (i)  No disability benefits have been paid with respect to periods of family temporary disability leave; and

     (ii)  No worker paid any contributions to the State disability benefits fund pursuant to paragraph (1)(G)(ii) of subsection (d) of this section.

(cf: P.L.2005, c.249, s.1)

 

     12.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill extends the State's existing temporary disability insurance (TDI) system to provide workers with family temporary disability leave benefits to care for members of the worker’s family unable to care for themselves, including sick family members and newborn and newly adopted children.

     The bill provides up to 12 weeks of TDI benefits for a worker taking leave to participate in providing care certified to be necessary for a family member of the worker suffering a serious health condition, including providing psychological comfort and arranging third party care for the family member; or taking leave to be with a child of the worker during the first 12 months after the child's birth or placement for adoption with the worker's family.

     The bill applies to all private and governmental employers subject to the “unemployment compensation law” (R.S.43:21-1 et seq.).

     The weekly benefit amount paid under the bill is the same as the weekly amount for TDI benefits during a worker's own disability and is subject to the same one-week waiting period.  The employer may require that the employee take up to two weeks of available sick or vacation pay or other fully-paid leave provided by the employer before receiving benefits under the bill, and may require that the period of benefits under this bill be reduced by the amount of time in which fully paid leave is provided.  If the employee is required to take fully paid leave, the bill requires that the employee be permitted to use the first week worth of the fully paid leave during the one-week waiting period that precedes the family leave benefits.  If the leave is for care of a child after birth or adoption, the worker is required to give notice not less than 30 days before the leave.

     During the first year following enactment, the bill raises additional revenues for the TDI fund necessary to pay family leave benefits through an assessment paid by workers of 0.1% of each worker's wages up to an amount equal to the Social Security tax base.  It is estimated that with that annual assessment rate of $1 per $1,000 of earnings under that tax base, which was $94,200 in 2006, the average worker would pay less than $1.00 per week in assessments.  In each successive year, the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development would set a contribution rate for workers based on estimates of the expected cost of benefits and administration, less funds left over from the preceding year. The funds raised through that assessment would be deposited into an account to be used only for family leave benefits and their administration, including the cost of an outreach program to eligible employees and the cost of issuing annual reports on the use of the benefits.  Neither the assessments nor the benefits would be considered in determining the TDI tax rates of employers.

     Finally, the bill reaffirms the State’s commitment to sustaining the State-operated, nonprofit State disability benefits plan, which has been found to be a highly efficient and cost-effective means of ensuring the availability of coverage for employers and workers with low overhead costs and impartial claims processing.