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Governor Murphy Signs Pro-Worker Unemployment Insurance Benefits Bill

Updated: Jun 20

April 24, 2023 |

Governor Murphy today signed A4772/S3215, which concerns unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for workers during labor disputes. This bill addresses certain loopholes that currently prevent workers participating in labor disputes, such as strikes, from receiving access to UI benefits.

In particular, the bill amends existing law to:

1. Permit UI benefits to be distributed to workers during an employer lockout even if a strike did not immediately precede the lockout;

2.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; and

3. 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.

NJ SEED: When workers strike they are voluntarily withholding their services, an act similar to a voluntary quit not customarily rewarded with unemployment compensation. When an employer resorts to a lockout it is similar to firing or dismissal of workers and is logically compensable. The new law attempts to clarify these understandings and reduce the waiting time required to qualify for UI compensation in event of a workstopage.

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