Yesterday, Governor Murphy signed A3975 into law, significantly expanding the New Jersey Family Leave Act (FLA) and Family Leave Insurance (FLI) programs to provide greater benefits to workers including additional time off, higher compensation, and increasing the class of individuals who qualify for leave.
In 2008, New Jersey adopted the FLA program providing workers with job-protected family leave. The FLI program, enacted in 2009, provides paid benefits for family leave regardless of the size of the employer; often, both leaves run concurrently. The 2008 FLA only applied to businesses with 50 or more employees. Effective June 30, 2019 the FLA will apply to businesses with 30 or more employees, rather than 50.
Under the initial FLA/FLI programs, workers could take six weeks of consecutive leave, or 42 days of intermittent leave, to bond with a newborn child, or to take care of a sick child, parent, spouse, or civil union partner. Workers could receive up to two-thirds of their average weekly wage, capped at a maximum amount of 53% of the state average weekly wage (approximately $650/week).
Effective July 1, 2020 the new law doubles the period of leave from six to 12 consecutive weeks and increases intermittent leave from 42 to 56 days. The FLI expansions, effective July 1, 2020 increase the maximum weekly benefit amount from two-thirds to 85% of workers’ average weekly wage, and raise the cap from 53% to 70% of the state average weekly wage (approximately $860/week).
The law also expands the definition of family member for whom workers can take leave to include siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, parents-in-law, domestic partners, any blood relatives, and any individual that the worker has a relationship with that is “the equivalent” of a family member. In addition, employees are now eligible to take leave to care for the aforementioned individuals who are victims of sexual or domestic violence.
For more information on the benefits required under the new law, please contact the attorneys in Parker McCay’s Employment and Labor Department.
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.