New Jersey Expands Its Paid Family Leave Law

Governor Phil Murphy recently signed into law major changes to the state’s paid family leave program. The New Jersey Family Leave Insurance (“NJFLI”) program provides wage replacement to employees who take leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition or in connection with the birth or adoption of a child. The changes take effect July 1, 2020. The major changes include:

  • Employees can take up to 12 consecutive weeks of paid family leave benefits, an increase from the current limit of 6 weeks.
  • The weekly maximum benefit will increase to $859 from the current maximum of $633 per week.
  • Employees will be able to take up to 56 days of intermittent leave within a 12-month period compared to the 42 days of such leave permitted under the current program.
  • As with the recent changes to the New Jersey Family Leave Act, benefits are available in connection with the placement of a foster child in an employee’s care.
  • Employers will no longer be permitted to require employees to use up to two weeks of paid time off instead of paid family leave benefits. However, employees will be permitted to use paid time off instead of paid family leave benefits. When an employee chooses to use paid time off benefits it will no longer decrease the amount of paid family leave benefits available to the employee.
  • Employers are prohibited from retaliating against an employee who requests or takes such leave. In addition, the employer is prohibited from refusing to restore an employee after he or she takes paid family leave.
  • The 7day waiting period for benefits will be eliminated.

If you have questions about the NJFLI program please contact the Law Offices of Damian Christian Shammas, LLC.