Since the epidemic began in March 2020, locals and lawmakers have criticized the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development for mismanaging the state’s Unemployment Insurance program.
The DOL is promoting its service improvements over the previous year as 2023 begins and emphasizing its objective “of delivering opportunity, stability, and dignity.”
“New Jersey has knocked off its axis in 2020,” stated Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.
The Garden State “has adopted stronger labor rights, including a higher minimum wage, paid sick days and increased family leave,” he said.
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While alarmist skeptics argue improved worker protections lead to layoffs and business closings, the true data is clear: New Jersey is among the Northeast leaders in year-over-year employment growth due to these proactive measures.”
Gains This Year
This year, the Labor Department will upgrade the self-service claim status page, new claim intake application, and email and paper notifications.
Regulators will also target industries with a “history of noncompliance with current regulations and on those whose employees are less likely to raise complaints with the Department.”
Unemployment claims are back at pre-pandemic levels, although the Labor Department is still processing numerous cases.
One-Stop Career Centers that started in-person assistance in spring resolved “lingering concerns” for 60,000 people, officials claimed.
Officials stated the revised unemployment application took 47 minutes less to complete.
Temporary disability and family leave insurance claims processing has dropped 50% since January 2022.
Last year, OCE fined $3 million.
In 2022, Uber and Raiser Inc. paid the state a record $100 million for misclassifying over 300,000 drivers.
The Division of Wage and Hour and Contract Compliance issued 85 stop-work orders and debarred 31 companies from public works contracts.
1,755 employers misclassified workers were fined $1.74 million by regulators.
Chipotle paid a $7.67 million child labor lawsuit and must audit and train supervisors for three years.
Two lifeguard deaths in August 2021 prompted the Office of Public Safety and Occupational Health and Safety to review beach patrols.
32 Hazard Awareness Letters, 26 Orders to Comply, and 73 total boat dangers, certifications, lightning policies, and recordkeeping infractions were issued by inspectors.
The state added 563 recognized apprenticeship programs and almost 12,700 apprentices since 2018.
Health care, which needs workers, received .
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9 million of the $28 million in apprenticeship awards.
Cannabis firms received $325,000 last month from the Cannabis Apprenticeship Training Initiative.