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Contact: Brad Schnure / (609) 847-3600
October 25, 2019
Oroho, Kean & Pennacchio Call for Creation of Office of Labor Law Enforcement

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Would Oversee & Coordinate Enforcement of State Labor Laws

Senators Steven Oroho, Tom Kean, and Joe Pennacchio called for the swift passage of legislation they sponsor that would protect workers, honest businesses, and taxpayers from the wide-ranging impacts of illegal labor practices.

Sens. Steven Oroho, Tom Kean, and Joe Pennacchio called for the passage of legislation they sponsor creating the Office of Labor Law Enforcement to crack down on illegal labor practices. (Pixabay)

“Companies that employ fraudulent work practices shouldn’t be allowed to profit, especially with public dollars,” said Oroho, who serves as the Senate Republican Budget Officer. “When we hear talk of a ‘stronger and fairer economy’ we should be doing all we can to close loopholes to prevent bad actors from abusing the system to the detriment of workers, taxpayers, and the State treasury.”

The legislation, S-3954, would establish the Office of Labor Law Enforcement to oversee, evaluate, and coordinate enforcement activities of the department regarding violations of the provisions of labor laws. The new office would be created within the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

“The use of illegal labor might cut costs for the employer, but it raises costs for everyone else,” said Kean, the Senate Republican Leader. “Off-the-books employees are often underpaid, uninsured, and untaxed. When they get hurt on the job, they end up in emergency rooms and taxpayers end up with the tab. It’s hard for honest firms that follow the rules to compete for work when they’re paying the full wages, taxes, and insurance that their shady competitors often dodge. We need better State enforcement of our labor laws to hold the bad actors accountable.”

The Office of Labor Law Enforcement would enforce provisions regarding wages and other terms and conditions of employment, and provisions regarding the financing and provision of benefits or insurance for workers, the keeping and disclosure of records, and provisions prohibiting false or misleading statements, representations, submissions, or the misclassification of employees, made by employers, employees, or other persons to wrongfully obtain or wrongfully deny or delay the full payment of wages and benefits, or pay less than the premiums, contributions, or taxes which are required by the provisions of State labor laws.

“We believe that fair competition yields the best results for consumers and taxpayers, but that requires a level playing field where everyone plays by the same set of rules,” added Pennacchio, the Senate Republican Whip. “Unfortunately, we don’t have a strong referee in place that’s capable of enforcing state labor laws consistently, especially in the construction industry. That’s why the Legislature must put this bill on the governor’s desk immediately.”

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