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NJ Senate Voted Yesterday to Approve COVID-19 Bill Package; Package on Governor’s Desk
By Susan S. Hodges on March 20, 2020
NJ Senate Voted Yesterday to Approve COVID-19 Bill Package; Package on Governor’s Desk

Yesterday, the New Jersey State Legislature sent Governor Phil Murphy a number of bills aimed at alleviating the economic impact that the coronavirus may have on New Jersey businesses.  Those bills were summarized in our prior client alert and are on Governor Murphy’s desk to become law (please note that this bill package is not law, and may change, until endorsed by Governor Murphy). Below is a summary of a few of the bills that pertain to small businesses and New Jersey residents (note that there were no amendments to the Assembly Bills set forth in our prior client alert and again, this is not a comprehensive list of the entire bill package):          

  • A-3841/S-2300: Extends Time to File Gross Income Tax or Corporation Business Tax Return. The language of the bill states that the extension will be granted following an IRS determination to extend the filing or payment due date, or both.  Note that the IRS has extended the payment due date for Federal taxes for 90 days.  Applies to taxpayers required to make and file an annual or quarterly return under the New Jersey Gross Income Tax Act or Corporation Business Tax Act.  Automatic extension will be no later than June 30, 2020.  A taxpayer will not be subject to penalties or interest if the return is filed by the end of the extension.
  • A-3845/S-2284: Expands EDA Small Business Loan Program to Include Small Businesses Negatively Affected by Certain Epidemics.Authorizes the New Jersey Economic Development Authority ("EDA") to provide grants during periods of emergency declared by the Governor, for the duration of economic disruptions due to the emergency.  Extends the uses for funds in the Economic Recovery Fund and provides that EDA may extend NJ Grow Projects, if project delay is a result of economic hardship as a result of the state of emergency.
  • A-3846/S-2293: Creates "Temporary Lost Wage Unemployment Program." Allows persons to claim for lost wages due to coronavirus disease 2019, and employers to pay wages to workers ordered under quarantine by a licensed healthcare practitioner.  To qualify for payment from this fund employees must have lost wages as a result of missing work to care for a family member; the employee's own sickness; the employer being closed; or missing work to care for a child after their school or childcare facility was closed, all related to the COVID-19 outbreak.  No individual shall receive benefits from the Program for any period or wages for which the individual receives unemployment compensation. 
  • A-3848/S-2301: Concerns Time Off from Work in Connection with Infectious Diseases. Prohibits an employer, during the Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 103 of 2020, from terminating or refusing to reinstate an employee if the employee requests or takes time off from work based on a recommendation from a licensed medical professional to do so as a result of COVID-19.  This appears to apply to all employers, including municipal employers.  There is a $2,500 penalty for an employer that violates the provisions of this bill.
  • A-3861/S-2290: Remote Shareholders' Meetings during a State of Emergency. Permits corporations to hold shareholders' meetings in part or solely by means of remote communication. During a State of Emergency declared by the Governor, a meeting of shareholders may be held by means of remote communication to the extent the board authorizes and adopts guidelines and procedures governing such a meeting. Shareholders participating in a meeting of shareholders by means of remote communication are deemed to be present in person and are entitled to vote at the meeting, regardless of whether the meeting is held at a designated place or solely by means of remote communication.

Contact our Corporate or Employment Departments for more info or questions.

The content of this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion. You should consult a lawyer concerning your specific situation and any specific legal question you may have.

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