Bill Text: NJ A701 | 2020-2021 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: "New Jersey Call Center Jobs Act."

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 14-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-01-14 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly Labor Committee [A701 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2020-A701-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 701

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2020 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  SHAVONDA E. SUMTER

District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  DANIEL R. BENSON

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

Assemblywoman  VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

Assemblyman  ERIC HOUGHTALING

District 11 (Monmouth)

Assemblyman  BENJIE E. WIMBERLY

District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman Jimenez, Assemblymen Zwicker, Egan, Johnson, Assemblywomen Pinkin, McKnight, Downey, Timberlake and Lopez

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     "New Jersey Call Center Jobs Act."

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

 


An Act concerning the relocation of call centers and supplementing chapter 21 of Title 34 of the Revised Statutes.

 

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

 

     1.    This act shall be known and may be cited as the "New Jersey Call Center Jobs Act."

 

     2.    For the purposes of this act:

     "Call center" means a facility or other operation whereby workers receive telephone calls or emails or other electronic communication for the purpose of providing customer assistance or other service.

     "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development.

     "Employer" means any business entity that employs 50 or more full-time workers or 50 or more workers that in the aggregate work at least 1,500 hours per week, excluding overtime hours, for the purpose of staffing a call center.

 

     3.    a.   Any employer with a call center within the State of New Jersey shall maintain a staffing level capable of handling no less than 65 percent of customer volume of telephone calls, emails, or other electronic communications, when measured against the previous six month average volume of those operations, originating in the State of New Jersey or an account with a service address within the State of New Jersey.  If the staffing level of a call center falls below the amount required pursuant to this subsection, the employer shall notify the commissioner immediately.

     b.    Any employer that relocates a call center, or transfers one or more facilities or operating units comprising at least 20 percent of a call center's total operating volume of telephone calls, emails, or other electronic communications when measured against the previous 12 month average volume of those operations, from the State of New Jersey to one or more foreign countries shall notify the commissioner at least 90 days prior to the relocation or transfer of operations.

     c.     Any employer that violates the notification requirement pursuant to this section shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $7,500 for each day the employer fails to provide the notification, collectible by the commissioner in a summary proceeding pursuant to the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.). The commissioner shall have the authority to waive this penalty.

 

     4.    The commissioner shall compile and maintain a list of all employers that provide notification pursuant to section 3 of this act.  The commissioner shall update the list on a monthly basis and an employer shall remain on the list for a period not to exceed 36 months after each instance of notification pursuant to section 3 of this act.  The commissioner shall make the list of employers available to the public and prominently display a link to the list on the Internet website of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

 

     5.   Notwithstanding any other provision of law, rule, or regulation to the contrary, an employer that is added to the list compiled and maintained by the commissioner pursuant to section 4 of this act shall be ineligible to receive any direct or indirect State grant, guaranteed loan, tax benefit, and any other financial support for the 36 months following the date upon which the employer is added to the list, except that the employer's inclusion on the list shall not prevent the employer from receiving any grant to provide training or other employment assistance to individuals who are members of specific groups selected as being in particular need of training or other employment assistance, including, but not limited to, employees of the employer whose employment is being affected due to the transfer or relocation of the employer's facility or operating unit, veterans, minority groups and women.

     As used in this section, "tax benefit" means a tax advantage awarded by a State governmental entity that has the effect of reducing a taxpayer's liability under the "New Jersey Gross Income Tax Act," N.J.S.54A:1-1 et seq., or section 5 of P.L.1945, c.162 (C.54:10A-5).

 

     6.    Notwithstanding any provision of law, rule, or regulation to the contrary, a State department or agency, in making or awarding a contract for call center services, shall grant a preference for such contract to qualified businesses located in the State and employing residents of the State, up to the limits set forth under rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to section 8 of this act.

 

     7.    Nothing in this act shall be construed to permit the withholding or denial of payments, compensation, or benefits under any State law, including unemployment benefits, disability benefits, or worker retraining or readjustment benefits to workers employed by employers that relocate a call center or transfer one or more facilities or operating units of a call center to a foreign country.

 

     8.    The commissioner shall promulgate rules and regulations, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) to identify qualified businesses under section 6 of this act. The rules and regulations shall also set forth limits on the amount of preference that may be given to a qualified business located in the State employing residents of the State.

     9.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the sixth month following the date of enactment, and shall apply to a relocation of a call center, or to a transfer of one or more facilities or operating units of a call center, occurring after the effective date.

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires an employer relocating a call center from this State to one or more foreign countries to notify the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development and provides that the employer would be subject to a period of ineligibility for any direct or indirect State grant, guaranteed loan, tax benefit, or any other financial support provided by the State.

      The bill requires any employer that relocates a call center, or transfers one or more facilities or operating units comprising at least 20 percent of a call center's total operating volume to one or more foreign countries to notify the commissioner at least 90 days prior to the relocation or transfer.  The bill also requires any employer with a call center in the State to maintain a staffing level capable of handling at least 65 percent of customer volume of telephone calls, emails, or other electronic communications originating within the State or an account with a service address within the State.  The employer is required to notify the commissioner if the staffing levels fall below what is required.

      The bill imposes on an employer who violates a notification requirement a civil penalty of up to $7,500 for each day the violation continues.

      The bill defines a "call center" as a facility or operation where workers receive phone calls, emails, or other electronic communication to provide customer assistance or other service.  The bill defines "employer" as a business that employs 50 or more full-time workers or 50 or more workers for at least 1,500 hours per week, excluding overtime hours.

      The bill requires the commissioner to maintain and update a list of all employers required to give notice.  An employer will remain on the list for up to 36 months after giving the required notification.  The bill also requires the commissioner to make the list public, including through the internet.  An employer's being on the list will not prevent the employer from receiving, or require the employer to remit, training grants or other employment assistance to members of groups with particular need of training or other assistance, including veterans, minority groups and women.

      The bill bars listed employers from receiving State grants, loans, tax benefits, or other financial support from the State for 36 months after being added to the list. 

      Lastly, the bill requires State agencies awarding contracts for call center services to give preference to businesses in the State employing State residents.

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