New law will allow New Jersey teens to work longer hours this summer
There is no underselling it, no sugarcoating it, no under discussing it -- many businesses, especially those who thrive and make most of their revenue in the summer months are struggling to find help due to the labor shortage.
They're also faced with a younger, eager crowd who may want to work but there's only so many hours they physically or legally can, especially teenagers under 18-years old.
It's not a long term fix but there is a temporary solution nonetheless now in play which can businesses fill hours this summer.
A bill introduced and sponsored by State Senator Steve Oroho (R) that will extend the hours certain groups of teenagers can work in a given week has been signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy.
“Businesses in shore and tourist communities are having a difficult time finding employees for the busy summer season,” Senator Oroho (R-24) sad in a statement on Thursday. “This new law will allow employees age 16 to 18 to work as many as 50 hours per week. This is a temporary fix to a temporary problem, but the additional 10 hours each week could help both the worker and the business.”
Under this law though (A-5898/S-3963) parents or guardians must give approval for any teen to be able to work more hours on the schedule each week.
Restaurants at the Jersey Shore are among those who need more help, generally speaking, for anyone who can pick up a few shifts.
It's been pretty dire in certain situations.
"I went a month without a dishwasher, I was in the kitchen on the weekends scrubbing dishes and making sure the food's coming out. It's been exhausting on not only me but on the staff that we do have," Marlboro Diner owner Kara Petrou previously told Townsquare Media News. "It's hard because you can't even ask them to work an extra shift because they're so exhausted from the shift that they just worked."
Many have allegedly been abusing the unemployment system, coasting through on the $300 a week and making it appear like they applied for a job when in reality, either didn't, throw out the application or didn't show up for an interview among other examples that Joe Leone Introna, owner of Joe Leone's Italian Specialities and Catering, discovered recently.
"Employees are leaving with no notice, (people) are coming in and they're filling out applications or doing it online, they're not coming in for the interview...they're submitting that to unemployment, we have proof of that, they're getting the unemployment rates. There's definitely something that really needs to be looked at," Leone said at a press conference in Monmouth County in May.
There's also been jobs out there that nobody wants/wanted, at least at first.
Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Paul Kanitra posted to Facebook recently asking for some help cleaning up litter, where the borough would be paying $24.00 an hour, but it wasn't enough to entice people to sign-up.
"First off, it's ludicrous we even need to be paying that much. The problem of the disrespectful tourists coming to Point Pleasant Beach and leaving their garbage everywhere has just exploded. We don't have the luxury of sitting back and just letting it go unmitigated," Mayor Kanitra previously told Townsquare Media News.
Several people have since signed up but it's one of those jobs where you need to be at least 18-years old.