Gov. Phil Murphy on April 24 signed A4772/S3215, which addresses some loopholes that have affected striking workers and others in labor disputes from receiving access to unemployment insurance benefits.
Taking effect immediately and applying to all UI benefit claims filed on or after Jan. 1, 2022, A4772/S3215 will:
• Permit UI benefits to be distributed to workers during an employer lockout even if a strike did not immediately precede the lockout
• Decrease the timeframe from 30 days to 14 days following a strike that UI benefits are disqualified, while allowing for benefits to be paid immediately regardless of the timeframe if replacement workers are hired on either a permanent or temporary basis
• Clarify that there is no disqualification if an issue in the labor dispute is the failure of the employer to comply with an agreement between the parties
“Workers and their families often struggle financially when they go on strike to protest injustice in the workplace,” said Charlie Wowkanech, president of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO. “Going on strike is a very difficult decision, but it is sometimes necessary when workers are pushed to their limits. This law will help ease that financial hardship, and we applaud Gov. Murphy for standing with working people and enacting this legislation.”