On June 10, Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey (CCSNJ) Manager of Government Affairs, Hilary Chebra, testified before the Senate Labor Committee on bills of concern to the business community.
Ms. Chebra testified in opposition to S-3352 (Weinberg), which concerns unlawful discrimination and harassment in the workplace. In her testimony, she stated that although well-intended, the bill is overly broad in classifying workplace harassment making the bar extremely low for complaints to be levied. She went on to explain specifically that the CCSNJ is concerned with the removal of the “severe or pervasive” standard for establishing a hostile work environment. Instead, S-3352 (Weinberg) replaces this language with the standard that conduct be more than “petty slights or trivial inconveniences” making any disagreement in the workplace open to a claim of discrimination or harassment. Ms. Chebra argued that the legislation is doing a disservice not only to the employer, but also to true victims of harassment by raising small disagreements to this high standard. Despite the CCSNJ’s objections, S-3352 (Weinberg) passed by a vote of 3-2. It now moves to the Senate Budget & Appropriation Committee.
Additionally, Ms. Chebra testified in opposition to to S-3827 (Weinberg), which provides temporary paid earned sick leave to workers due to the pandemic. Ms. Chebra argued that with the end of the pandemic in sight, further leave is no longer needed to deal with absences related to COVID-19. Additionally, there are already numerous mechanisms for leave already in place making this measure even more unnecessary - especially at a time when the state and nation is experiencing a severe labor shortage. S-3827 (Weinberg) also passed by a vote of 3-1 with 1 abstention and moves to the Senate Budget & Appropriation Committee.
To read the CCSNJ position on S-3352 (Weinberg), click here.
To read the CCSNJ position on S-3827 (Weinberg), click here. Should you have any questions, please contact Hilary Chebra, Manager of Government Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.