New Jersey Paid Family Leave Law - What You Need to Know
On February 19, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation (A.B. 3975) revising the state’s family leave law. Under the revised law, the state’s paid family leave program has been modified in several ways.
How has the Definition of a Covered Employer Changed?
As of June 30, 2019, the definition of a covered employer would include those with 30 employees, as opposed to 50 employees, for each calendar day of 20 or more calendar workweeks. Employers with 30 or more employees are now subject to the non-discrimination and non-retaliation provisions of the law, and must reinstate employees upon returning from leave.
How Has the Length of Time Employees Can Take Changed?
Beginning in July 2020, the number of weeks for Family Leave Insurance (FLI) and Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) double. Employees can take up to 12 consecutive weeks of paid family leave or temporary disability insurance during any 12-month period. Currently, employees are only able to take up to six weeks of FLI or TDI in a 12-month period. Workers may take up to 56 days of intermittent leave within a 12-month period.
How Has the Weekly Benefit Changed?
The weekly benefit increases and individuals may now receive 85 percent of their weekly wage, with the maximum possible benefit going up to 70 percent of the statewide average weekly wage.
Who is Eligable for the Benefit?
Employees may take paid family leave to care for siblings, in-laws, grandparents, grandchildren, other blood relatives, and any other individual who can be shown to have the equivalent of a family relationship to the employee. Also, an individual who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence may take family leave for themselves or to care for a family member who was a victim. This includes family temporary disability leave for medical attention, counseling, or legal assistance or proceedings arising out of domestic violence or sexual violence.
What Protections do Employees Have Who Use This Benefit?
Anti-retaliation provisions prohibit covered employers from retaliating or discriminating against an employee because he or she took family leave.