SENATE, No. 2117

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 24, 2010

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  SEAN T. KEAN

District 11 (Monmouth)

Senator  DIANE B. ALLEN

District 7 (Burlington and Camden)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Goodwin, A.R.Bucco and Greenstein

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Creates “New Jersey Senior Labor Task Force.”

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act establishing a task force to examine the needs of senior citizens in New Jersey’s labor force.

 

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

 

     1.    The Legislature finds and declares:

     a.     During the last decade, New Jersey’s labor force has been reshaped by a substantial increase in the number of senior citizens who have reentered or remained active in the State’s workforce, a trend that is expected to increase in the near future;

     b.    In seeking to provide supplemental income, preserve financial security, and remain active, a growing number of the State’s older workers have retained employment or reentered the workforce beyond the traditional age of retirement, overturning the education-work-retirement paradigm practiced by previous generations;

     c.     Despite their experience, reliability, and self-motivation, older workers face unique barriers which hinder the continued growth and development of the senior segment of the State’s labor force;

     d.    While employers recognize the economic advantages of integrating senior citizens into their workforce, many lack the necessary skills and knowledge to attract and retain the labor of older workers;

     e.     In order to study this trend, examine the concerns of older workers and their employers, and provide recommendations to eliminate existing barriers, it is in the public interest to create a task force to study the needs of senior citizens in the State’s labor force.

 

     2.    a. There is established a task force to be known as the “New Jersey Senior Labor Task Force.” The purpose of the task force shall be to study and evaluate, and develop recommendations relating to, senior citizens in the State’s labor force.

     b.    The task force shall be comprised of nine members, including:

     (1) the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services and the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development, or their designees, who shall serve ex officio; and

     (2) Seven public members appointed by the Governor, including one representative of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, one representative of a Chamber of Commerce located in this State, one representative of the AFL-CIO or an affiliated union located in the State and four members chosen with due regard to broad geographic representation and ethnic diversity, who have served prominently as spokespersons for, or as leaders of, organizations which educate the public on and advocate for issues related to the needs of senior citizens in the labor force, including one representative of AARP New Jersey.

     c.     The task force shall organize as soon as practicable, but no later than the 60th day after the appointment of a majority of its members.  The task force shall elect a chairperson from among its members and appoint a secretary who need not be a member of the task force.

     d.    Vacancies in the membership of the task force shall be filled in the same manner provided for the original appointments.

     e.     The task force may meet at the call of its chair and hold hearings at the times and in the places it deems necessary and appropriate to fulfill its charge.  The task force shall be entitled to call to its assistance, and avail itself of the services of, the employees of any State, county, or municipal department, board, bureau, commission, or agency as it may require and as may be available for its purposes.

     f.     The public members of the task force shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for traveling and other miscellaneous expenses necessary to perform their duties, within the limits of the funds made available to the task force for its purposes.

     g.     The task force may utilize such assistance and personnel as the departments represented by the ex officio members of the task force are able to provide, but there shall be no additional funds appropriated to those departments for that purpose.

 

     3.    It shall be the duty of the task force to:

     a.     assess the needs of older workers and the challenges they face to remain active members of the workforce beyond the traditional age of retirement;

     b.    determine the barriers that impede senior citizens from reentering the workforce after an extended absence, and the obstacles that confront older workers making a transition into the labor force for the first time;

     c.     investigate the frequency and severity of age discrimination in the workplace, and the extent to which it alters or hinders the growth and development of the senior workforce; and

     d.    review the needs of employers seeking to attract and integrate senior citizens into their workplace environment.

 

     4.    The task force shall report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and Legislature, along with any legislative bills that it desires to recommend for adoption by the Legislature, no later than six months after the date of its initial meeting.

     5.    This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire upon the issuance of the task force report.


STATEMENT

 

     This bill creates the “New Jersey Senior Labor Task Force” to study, evaluate, and make recommendations relating to senior citizens in the State’s labor force. The bill requires the task force to:

     1.    Assess the needs and the challenges of older workers to remain active in the workforce beyond the traditional retirement age;

     2.    Determine the barriers impeding senior citizens from reentering the workforce and obstacles confronting first-time older workers;

     3.    Investigate workplace age discrimination and its impact on the growth and development of the senior workforce; and

     4.    Review the needs of employers seeking to attract and integrate senior citizens into their workplace environment.

     The bill provides that the task force is comprised of the Commissioners of Health and Senior Services and of Labor and Workforce Development, serving ex officio, and seven public members appointed by the Governor, including: one representative each of: the New Jersey Business and Industry Association; a Chamber of Commerce located in this State; the New Jersey State AFL-CIO or an affiliated union, AARP New Jersey, and three other senior citizen advocates.  The task force is required to submit a report of findings and recommendations to the Governor and Legislature within six months after its initial meeting.