Legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner (D-Mercer) that would refine unemployment benefit instructions has cleared the Senate Labor Committee.

“Losing your job is a difficult and unpleasant experience that far too many of our fellow New Jerseyans have had to endure recently,” said Turner. “Unemployment benefits can be essential to maintaining a home and feeding a family. Therefore, we should be doing everything we can to make the process of filing a claim easier.”

The bill, S2580, would require employers to include information detailing the time sensitivity of filing a claim for unemployment benefits in the unemployment benefit instructions that they must provide to a worker at the time the worker becomes unemployed. Currently, the law requires the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to provide unemployment filing instructions to employers. The bill would require the Department to also provide the additional instructions regarding the time sensitivity of unemployment benefit claims.

Specifically, the legislation would require that the benefit instructions given to the worker include, but not be limited to, the date upon which the worker becomes unemployed, and, in the case that the unemployment is temporary, the date upon which the worker is recalled to work, and that the individual may lose some or all of the benefit to which he or she is entitled if he or she fails to file a claim in a timely manner. Finally, the bill would require each employer to give each worker at the time he/she becomes unemployed, for any reason, whether the unemployment is permanent or temporary, a printed copy of the benefit instructions.

The legislation now moves to the full Senate.