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Understanding the New Jersey Family Leave Act

March 20th, 2017
Understanding the New Jersey Family Leave Act

As an employee in New Jersey, you are entitled to take time off of work to resolve issues related to your health or the health of a close family member. In addition, under a law enacted in 2008, you may be able to receive benefits while you are taking leave. Some basics about taking leave as an employee are discussed below.

The New Jersey Family Leave Act Entitles You to 12 Weeks off Work

The New Jersey Family Leave Act (FLA) requires employers who have 50 or more employees to allow employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave under certain circumstances. In order to be eligible for leave, an employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and worked at least 1,000 hours. The conditions for which an employee may take leave include the following:

  • To care for a newborn or newly adopted child, provided the leave is taken within a year of the child’s birth or placement with the employee.
  • To take care of a parent, a minor child, spouse, or civil union partner who has a serious medical condition requiring medical supervision or in-patient care.

Paid Leave May be Available

New Jersey is one of five states in the U.S that offers its employees paid leave. Under the Temporary Disability Leave law, employees are entitled to a Paid Family leave benefit of 2/3 of their weekly income, up to $615. While commonly referred to as a “leave” program, it actually functions more like a disability benefit. Additionally, the entire program is funded by deductions from employee paychecks, keeping employers from being responsible for paying employees for time off of work.

According to an article published at njlawjournal.com, New Jersey Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer) is preparing to introduce legislation that would expand the program. Gusciora has indicated, however, that he will likely wait to introduce the proposed bill until after Governor Christie leaves office in 2018.

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As an employer, it is critical to ensure that you are in compliance with all relevant state and federal laws regarding paid and unpaid leave. As a result, it is important for any business that is subject to laws regarding FLA to schedule a free consultation with one of our New Jersey business attorneys, call Bowne Barry & Barry today at 732 238-8686 or contact us online.