This week, Governor Murphy signed S2374 in law, which expands the New Jersey Family Leave Act (“NJFLA”) to allow employees to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave to care for a family member for reasons related to COVID-19 or other communicable diseases. The bill also makes some corrections to the New Jersey Temporary Disability Benefits Law. It became effective immediately and is retroactive to March 25, 2020.
Specifically, eligible employees can now also take NJFLA leave in the event of a Governor-declared state of emergency, or as indicated by the Commissioner of Health or other public health authority, related to a communicable disease, known or suspected exposure of a communicable disease, or to prevent the spread of a communicable disease when:
(1) the employee must care for his/her child who is home due to the closure of the child’s school or place of care as a result of an order from a public health office due to an epidemic or other health emergency;
(2) the employee must care for a family member who is subject to a quarantine or other measures as determined by a public health authority due to illness caused by the communicable disease, or known or suspected exposure to the communicable disease, which causes the family member’s presence in the community to jeopardize the health of others; or
(3) the employee must care for a family member who is undergoing a self-quarantine upon the advice of a heath care provider or public health authority due to suspected exposure to the communicable disease, which causes the family member’s presence in the community to jeopardize the health of others.
This expansion allows employees to take NJFLA leave for such reasons related to COVID-19. However, keep in mind that an employee is only entitled to 12 weeks of NJFLA leave within a 24-month period. This is not additional NJFLA leave, but new reasons that would qualify for NJFLA leave. You should review any NJFLA leave requests received since March 25, 2020 to ensure compliance.
If you need more details about the updates to the NJFLA, or have any other questions, please reach out to our Employment 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.