Governor Murphy signs bill concerning disqualification from unemployment benefits

A-3871, a bill concerning the disqualification from unemployment benefits for misconduct, was signed into law today by Governor Murphy.

The New Jersey State AFL-CIO thanks Senator Patrick Diegnan, Jr.; Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti, Assemblyman Joseph Egan, and Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez for their leadership as the primary sponsors of this law. We also thank Governor Murphy for signing this law on behalf of working families in New Jersey. 

This law corrects an anti-worker provision pushed by Governor Christie into a conditional veto in 2010. Unfortunately, unscrupulous employers used this broad definition of “misconduct” to deny unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to certain workers and to save themselves money by reducing their own UI contributions.     

A-3871 amends R.S.43:21-5 to make a number of changes in the UI law regarding the disqualification of applicants for UI benefits who are separated from work because of alleged misconduct. Under A-3871, if a worker is discharged from work for misconduct, the amount of time that he or she is disqualified from receiving UI benefits is reduced from seven weeks to five weeks. The bill also states that the burden of proof is upon the employer to maintain disqualification of benefits by misconduct, requiring the employer to provide written documentation demonstrating that the employee’s actions constitute misconduct or gross misconduct prior to a determination by the department of misconduct.

For more information about A-3871, click here.

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