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Senator Fred Madden, D-Gloucester and Camden, speaks at a news conference about the need for a bill to require legislators to disclose the source of any income, direct or indirect, derived from public sources.

TRENTON — Employees would be eligible for unemployment benefits if they are laid off soon after taking a new job under a bill sponsored by Senator Fred Madden that passed the Senate today.

“If someone who would be eligible for unemployment benefits in their current job leaves to seek out a better opportunity, they should not be ineligible for unemployment benefits if they are quickly laid off in their new job,” said Madden (D-Camden, Gloucester). “I want to protect every dollar in the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, but current law seems to harm good people caught in bad circumstances.”

Current law disqualifies any worker who voluntarily leaves a job from receiving unemployment benefits.  Under current law, in order to receive unemployment benefits a worker who voluntarily quits is required to become reemployed and work at least eight weeks, earning at least 10 times the worker’s weekly unemployment benefit rate, in order to become eligible for unemployment benefits. 

This bill (S-2082) would make an exception from that requirement for a worker who leaves one job to accept a subsequent job at least equal in hours or pay, but is laid off from the subsequent job.  The unemployment benefit laws of 26 states, and the regulations of five other states, treat accepting other work as good cause for leaving work, and do not disqualify workers from benefits for doing so.

The bill was approved by a vote of 36-0 and now moves to the Assembly.


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