ASSEMBLY, No. 5150







Sponsored by:

Assemblyman   ALEX SAUICKIE

District 12 (Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean)






        Requires DOLWD to track and maintain information on job loss due to automation.



        As introduced.


An Act concerning job loss due to automation and amending R.S.43:21-6.


        Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


        1.       R.S.43:21-6 is amended to read as follows:

        43:21-6.  (a) Filing. (1)  Claims for benefits shall be made in accordance with such regulations as the Director of the Division of Unemployment and Temporary Disability Insurance of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development of the State of New Jersey may approve.   Each employer shall post and maintain on his premises printed notices of his subject status, of such design, in such numbers and at such places as the director of the division may determine to be necessary to give notice thereof to persons in the employer's service.   Each employer shall give to each individual at the time he becomes unemployed, for any reason, whether the unemployment is permanent or temporary, a printed copy of benefit instructions.   The benefit instructions given to the individual shall include, but not be limited to, the following information: (A) the date upon which the individual becomes unemployed, and, in the case that the unemployment is temporary, to the extent possible, the date upon which the individual is expected to be recalled to work; and (B) that the individual may lose some or all of the benefits to which he is entitled if he fails to file a claim in a timely manner.   Both the aforesaid notices and instructions, including information detailing the time sensitivity of filing a claim, and directions provided in advance to all employers regarding what information the division requires employers to provide to the division by electronic means immediately upon a separation from employment sufficient to enable the division to make a benefit determination, including any information relevant to whether the individual may be disqualified pursuant to subsections (a),(b),(d), or (e) of R.S.43:21-5, shall be supplied by the division to employers without cost to them.   The directions provided to all employers in advance shall include that each employer provide the division with an email address for communications to and from the division.   When an employer provides benefit instructions to the individual which disclose the date on which unemployment will commence, the employer shall immediately and simultaneously provide by electronic means that disclosure to the division together with the information required by the division pursuant to the directions provided in advance by the division.   An employer who fails to make the immediate and simultaneous disclosure to the department as required by this paragraph shall be liable for the penalties imposed by subsection (b) of R.S.43:21-16 on employers for willful failure to furnish reports.   The division shall notify the employer by electronic means not more than seven calendar days after the department receives the disclosure of any failure of the employer to provide all of the information needed by the division to make a benefit determination.   Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to require an employer to re-hire an individual formerly in the employer's service.   Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring the division to issue a benefit determination solely based on the information supplied by the employer.   Notwithstanding the provisions of this section which require employers to provide information to the division by electronic means, and the division to provide notifications to an employer by electronic means, the commissioner shall have the discretion to establish by rule an alternate method or methods for employers to provide the required information to the division and for the division to provide the required notifications to an employer in circumstances where it is established, to the satisfaction of the commissioner, that the employer is unable to provide the information to the division or is unable to receive notifications from the division by electronic means.

        (2)  Any claimant may choose to certify, cancel or close his claim for unemployment insurance benefits at any time, 24 hours a day and seven days a week, via the Internet on a website developed by the division; however, any claim that is certified, cancelled or closed after 7:00 PM will not be processed by the division until the next scheduled posting date.

        (3)  The division may request that claimants obtain digital identity credentials, but only if the division provides opportunities for claimants to verify their identities even if they do not have the knowledge or access to the equipment needed to obtain the digital identity credentials.   Any request by the division for a claimant to obtain digital identity credentials shall include a statement that the claimant may use alternative procedures to verify identification, and fully describe the alternative procedures, which shall include personal assistance in person or by phone which shall be made available by representatives of the division as needed to prevent any delay in processing claims.   If the division requests that a claimant obtain digital identity credentials, and the claimant chooses to request a digital identity credential rather than utilize an alternative procedure, but is denied the digital identity credential, the division shall issue the claimant a written appealable determination.

        (4)  Any system that the division establishes for claimants or recipients of benefits to verify identity, to apply for, or to make appeals regarding, benefits either by phone or on-line, shall provide a clearly and prominently expressed option for the claimant or recipient, if not immediately provided personal assistance, to select from available appointment times an appointment time to speak with a representative to obtain assistance in verifying identity, filing a claim or appeal, or obtaining information regarding the status of a claim or appeal.

        (b)  (1)  Procedure for making initial determinations with respect to benefit years commencing on or after January 1, 1953.

        A representative or representatives designated by the director of the division and hereafter referred to as a "deputy" shall promptly examine any disclosure of information to the division by an employer required by paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this section upon a separation from work and any claim for benefits, and shall, by electronic means, notify the most recent employing unit and, successively as necessary, each employer in inverse chronological order during the base year.   The notification shall be made not later than seven calendar days after the employer provides to the department the disclosure required by paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this section, or seven calendar days after the filing of the claim, whichever occurs first, and require said employing unit and employer to furnish, by electronic means, not more than seven calendar days after the notification is made, any information to the deputy which the employer failed to provide as required by paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this section as may be necessary to determine the claimant's eligibility and his benefit rights with respect to the employer in question.   The claimant shall, at the time the claim is filed, be provided any information the division has received from the employer upon the separation from work and an opportunity to respond to that information.   If a claim is filed and the employer has provided the information required upon separation from work, the employer shall immediately be notified by electronic means of the opportunity to provide, b