TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez that would require the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development to provide additional data in annual temporary disability insurance and family leave insurance reports advanced from the Senate Labor Committee today.
“One of the most important roles of government is to provide services to individuals who are in need of them,” said Senator Cruz-Perez (D-Camden/Gloucester). “We cannot do this when our programs and services are not efficiently coordinated. This bill aims to remedy that problem and improve disability and family leave insurance.”
Current law requires the Commissioner to issue and make available an annual report of these programs that provides data regarding program usage, claimant demographics, program costs and revenues. It additionally provides a provision granting the Commissioner the authority to conduct surveys and other research into the impact and effects of disability benefits.
The bill, S-342, would expand the reporting requirements regarding both usage and demographic data. As the data required in this report is already provided by the employee when applying for benefits, the Department would likely not have to change the application form in order to comply with this law.
The bill would expand the data the Department of Labor and Workforce Development must provide to include the occupations of the workers receiving benefits, the regular weekly wages of workers receiving benefits, the number of workers receiving benefits that work full time and the number of workers receiving benefits that work part time, and the number or workers receiving benefits that belong to a labor union.
The Department must also include the number of workers claiming intermittent benefits for family temporary disability, the number of workers claiming both temporary disability benefits and family temporary disability benefits in the same calendar year, the number of employers employing each worker in the worker’s base year, and whether the employer is private or a governmental entity.
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 4-1, and next heads to the full Senate for further consideration.