Corrections or additions?
These articles were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on November 17, 1999. All rights reserved.
Labor Pains for Employers
Moms are not the only ones who get the baby blues.
obligated by law to provide women with leave under the Family Leave
Act, as defined by both the state and federal government, also suffer
excruciating labor pains, so to speak, says Earl Bennett
attorney with Saul Ewing at 214 Carnegie Center. "It’s complex
enough to understand one statute," he says, "but to understand
two statutes leaves an employer in a perilous situation."
Bennett will help employers navigate their way through the Federal
and state statutes on Thursday, November 18, at 8 a.m. at the Saul
Ewing office in Carnegie Center. Cost: $40. Call 609-452-3133.
The federal and state versions of the Family & Medical Leave Acts
are similar, says Bennett, but just different enough to cause
Under federal law, women are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave,
both for disability pertaining to pregnancy or for care of a child.
The state law, however, entitles women to 12 weeks unpaid leave during
a 24 month period only for care of a child. "The challenge is
how to deal with providing employees their rights under both
says Bennett, who has a BA in English from Harvard, Class of 1973,
and earned his law degree at Rutgers in Camden. "One has to
if the mother is entitled to both — leave for disability and leave
for care — and, as it turns out, because the state law also says
that an individual is entitled to any other leave covered by any other
statute, they should get disability leave as well. The question is
under what circumstances is a person entitled to both." If a
member is ill, or a woman becomes temporarily disabled, that can
how both laws are interpreted, he adds.
How the family leave acts are interpreted also depends on the hours
an employee works, the number of employees in a company, and the
of the company. Part-time employees, for example, have to work at
least 1,250 hours in one year to qualify for federal leave, and 1,000
hours to qualify for state leave. But an employer with fewer than
50 employees within a 75-mile radius is not bound by the Federal
Thus, a person who works slightly more than a 1,000 hours a year for
a tiny New Jersey operation, telecommuting from California, would
not be entitled to Federal leave, but could very well be entitled
to leave under New Jersey law.
With the new global economy, these unusual situations are appearing
more and more, says Bennett. "I talked to such an employee last
week who resided in California but worked out of an office in New
Jersey and telecommuted," he says. Employers should learn
they can about both acts, says Bennett, if they want to avoid serious
labor pains in the form of government penalties.
When Governor Christie Whitman
Commissioner Gil Medina
commission, among Medina’s first moves was to hire technical
who can help draw more high tech firms to New Jersey.
"We have an intransigent bureaucracy in place that does not allow
us to react quickly to help businesses and ward off problems before
they turn into crises," said Medina then (U.S. 1 February 18,
1998). "We do not have the people on staff with the knowledge
about the major industry sectors such as pharmaceutical or technology
that are important to our economy. We want to make sure that no
falls through the cracks."
Medina, an alumnus of Rutgers and Temple, is both an attorney and
a CPA. He created an Office of Accounts Management, modeled after
corporate sales organizations and organized by geographical territory
and business type. One year later, the accounts management staff has
been made a unit of the commission’s Department of Client Promotion.
The account executives are charged with providing a 24-hour guaranteed
response for requests for assistance so that any business with a
will hear from the appropriate person in government. Industry
focus on the largest employers and those with the greatest growth
potential. Regional account managers work with companies with fewer
than 100 employees.
In a report issued last week Medina says this department helped to
create or retain nearly 25,000 jobs in fiscal year 1999. The account
executives held 129 appointments with 79 different companies. They
helped inform 945 companies about the state’s new approach to
economic development assistance and services.
Industry representatives include Jim Donnelly
and Henry Kurz
— finance, insurance, and real estate — is vacant. Regional
representatives include Mary Ann Buga
Warren counties), Edward Dietz
Salem), Marialyce Fitzgerald
Shaffery (Bayshore Development),
Somerset, Hunterdon, Union), Lawrence Coyle
and James Waldron
The account managers are supervised by Gerald A. Janssen
spent seven years at the Sarnoff Corporation, most recently as senior
vice president of human resources and facilities operation. "The
system provides the state with a firm foundation for business
expansion, retention, and international trade promotion," says
The commission’s website (http://www.njbrc.org
that any company can access without talking to an account rep, such
information as site availability, tax incentives, local zoning, and
regulations. For a copy of the report call 609-777-4413. To contact
an account executive for either your industry or your geographic
Students who want to start out at Mercer County
College but graduate from the College of New Jersey can do that more
easily, now that the Thomas Sepe
presidents of the two colleges, have renegotiated their transfer
Eligible students must have scored at least 1,125 on their SATs or
have been ranked in the top half of their high school graduating
Once at Mercer, they must declare their intention to enroll in the
student transfer program by the end of the first year and have at
least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average for that year. For MCCC
students approved to be admitted to TCNJ in the fall term of their
third college year, TCNJ will offer the same consideration for campus
housing as TCNJ rising juniors. Call 609-586-4800 for information.
Employers pay workers compensation costs based on how
much was withdrawn from the claim pool the previous year. The good
news is that for the fifth consecutive year, premiums in New Jersey
have been reduced, even while benefits to injured workers are
"This is another illustration that New Jersey is a good place
to do business," says Governor Whitman
news for employers and good news for the workers who need assistance
after an injury on the job."
Here’s how it works. The Department of Labor processes the claims
for benefits, while the Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau
(part of the Department of Banking and Insurance) sets the rates and
monitors the rules regarding workers compensation and employer
This year, premiums will be decreased by 2.5 percent. For the previous
years premiums decreased by 9.3 percent, 11.2 percent, and 3.6 percent
— or a total of $200 million or 28 percent over the years from
1994 to 1998. Overall, 65,000 New Jersey businesses will save $22
million on their premiums next year. Meanwhile, next year’s weekly
benefits for workers will increase by five percent and range from
a minimum of $144 to a maximum of $568.
Not all types of businesses will see lower costs. There are nearly
600 business classifications, and just two-thirds of them will
Still, says Jaynee LaVecchia,
"Employers and insurers continue to work together to improve
safety and to reduce medical expenses through the use of managed
Nominations are due on Friday, December 3, for New
Women of Achievement Awards sponsored by Douglass College, the college
for women at Rutgers, and the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s
Clubs. Past recipients have included author Joyce Carol Oates
and McCarter’s artistic director, Emily Mann
Lane, vice president of community affairs for Johnson & Johnson
and Governor Whitman
The award recognizes outstanding contributions or distinguished
in such fields as public service, business, education, the arts, and
volunteer service. Douglass College was founded by the women’s club
group in 1918. Call 732-932-9721 for nomination forms.
Staying in school is at least as important as
a C average, says Governor Whitman
for Educational Excellence of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber and the state have launched a "School Counts!"
program to make it clear to students that what they do in high school
will affect their job opportunities.
Those who qualify for this program will get a certificate they can
take to employers when they apply for a job. But to qualify they must
not only make a minimum grade of C in all their courses, they must
graduate in eight consecutive semesters. Their attendance record must
be show least 95 percent punctual attendance, and they must have more
than the required courses for graduation.
Businesses in Monmouth County can participate in this program now,
and it is supposed to spread statewide soon. "Employers want a
high quality workforce," says Dana Egreczky
chamber, "and this is an effective way to find quality
Call Egreczky at 609-989-7888.
You yearn to climb a mountain but all your husband wants
to do is play golf. Or you are a single woman, for whatever reason,
and all your female friends are couch potatoes. Frederika Ebel
of Class A Travel at Research Park is starting a "Women’s
Travel" club. It meets Thursday, November 18, at 7:30 p.m. at
425 Wall Street. Call 609-497-0011 or E-mail:
"Based on our members’ interests and needs, our travel club will
ensure that you have a traveling companion whom you know and feel
comfortable with," says Ebel, who is single herself. She was
from a marketing and education at a medical facility in Flemington
and went to New York University to learn to be a travel consultant.
Trips will range from European travel to eco-tourism expeditions to
Costa Rica to journeys to exotic locations. Only a handful have signed
up for the club so far but Ebel has high expectations. The club is
open to all women and no fees (other than travel expenses) will be
charged. "Women have a more diverse background and will be more
adventurous, if they are allowed to be," says Ebel.
Millstone Bypass proponents and opponents may wish to
attend the conference held by the New Jersey Association of Counties,
"Transportation Today and Tomorrow," on Friday, December 3,
from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel. Cost:
$120. Call 609-394-3467.
Discussions moderated by William Schuber
and Richard E. Squires
county freeholders, legislators, and various transportation
A luncheon will honor Senator Frank Lautenberg
Robert A. Roe.
Need a transportation coordinator for your office? Keep
Middlesex Moving Inc. is offering businesses a free customized
package, known as TransitCenter, to help employees navigate the public
transit system in New Jersey. The package includes maps, bus and train
schedules, information about New Jersey Transit’s Vanpool Sponsorship
Program, and commuter discounts passes.
Business Pass, for example, offers pre-tax savings on commuting costs
and discounts on bus and rail passes. Patron Pass is a one-way rail
pass employers can buy so workers can ride by rail to Philadelphia
or New York without raiding petty cash. For more information, call
<D>Katherine Benesch, a partner at the law firm
& Greiner at 993 Lenox Drive, received a grant of $8,500 from the
New Jersey Breathes coalition to study the legality of anti-smoking
legislation at the municipal level. Benesch will research all of New
Jersey’s "smoke-free/clean air" statutes, common law and local
ordinances and compare them with requirements in other states. The
grant is administered through the American Cancer Society.
Benesch also was recently named president of the Princeton Bar
With a $150,000 grant from the Fannie E. Rippel
Rider University has been able to buy more scientific equipment to
support research in neurobiology. "We plan to create a biology
program that will integrate biotechnology, neuroscience, and cancer
research," said Jonathan Karp
Rider to head its new biopsychology program.
The grant will also support a three-year public lecture series by
prominent scientists. The foundation is based in Basking Ridge.
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.