Trenton – In an effort to improve employment protections for service employees, the Senate today advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton and Senator Andrew Zwicker to establish worker retention policies for certain service employees during changes of ownership.
The bill, S-2389, would require any employer that enters into a service contract or subcontract with service employees to undertake certain actions to notify and temporarily retain employees in the event of a transfer of a service contract from one employer to another.
“When ownership of service contracts changes, employees and their needs can often be forgotten. It is important to ensure that employees have job stability, even in transitions of management,” said Senator Singleton (D- Burlington). “We are coming off of the heels of a pandemic that catalyzed mass layoffs across the board. This bill will protect employees and their jobs, easing any anxiety that may arise when ownership changes, and will lay out the provisions that will be afforded to service employees.”
Under the bill, at least 15 days before terminating or transferring any service contract, an outgoing employer would be required to notify a succeeding employer of the name, date of hire, and job classification of each service employee and their collective bargaining representative. The outgoing employer would also be required to notify service employees of the impending transfer, provide the contact information of the new employer, and give the date by which the employee would be required to accept a new offer of employment.
“Statewide, New Jersey workers employed by building-service contractors were essential during the pandemic and this legislation provides stability for thousands of workers who often work at a building or site for decades,” said Senator Zwicker (D-Hunterdon/ Mercer/ Middlesex/ Somerset). “This legislation would make service employee contracts more transparent to employees and make certain that contractors ensure the stable transfer of service employees.”
Additionally, a successor employer would be required to retain affected service employees at a covered location for 60 days or until their service contract is terminated, whichever is earlier. Successor employers would be prohibited from reducing any affected service employee’s work hours to circumvent the protections provided by this bill.
The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 21-14.