Benson, DeAngelo & Muoio Measure to Ensure Job Security for Organ Donors Clears Assembly Committ
Bill Would Prohibit Termination Due to Temporary Leave Related to Organ Donation Legislation Assembly Democrats Daniel Benson, Wayne DeAngelo and Elizabeth Muoio sponsored to ensure that organ and bone marrow donors do not lose employment due to a temporary inability to work was advanced Monday by an Assembly Committee. "Organ and tissue donors selflessly undergo procedures to save another person's life only to face the possibility that their act of kindness may cost them their livelihood," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "Establishing statutory job protection for these men and women will ensure that no New Jersey resident can lose employment because he or she took temporary disability due to organ or tissue donation." The bill (A-411) would amend current law to provide job security for individuals who take temporary disability leave related to organ or bone marrow donation. Under the bill, an individual who experiences a period of disability pursuant to the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" would be entitled to be restored to his or her position of employment, or an equivalent position, at the end of that period. While organ and bone marrow donors are eligible for temporary disability benefits, current law does not provide an express guarantee of job security for an individual who is unable to work during a period of disability. "Thousands of people in New Jersey are waiting for transplants, so our state should do everything possible to eliminate deterrents to people registering as organ donors," said DeAngelo (D-Middlesex/Mercer). "If potential donors can rest assured that organ donation won't compromise their ability to put food on the table, they may be more likely to make a decision that ultimately transforms someone else's life." "The notion that employers legally can tell someone who's recovering from organ donation surgery that he or she no longer has a job is unconscionable," said Muoio (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). "With 22 people on transplant waiting lists in America dying every day and New Jersey lagging far behind other states in its rate of people signing up to be organ donors, we must remove this barrier to organ donation." The measure was advanced by the Assembly Labor Committee.