New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a new bill into law that expands New Jersey paid family leave on Feb. 19, 2019. The new law modifies the New Jersey Family Leave Act (FLA) and the New Jersey Paid Family Leave Insurance Program (FLI).
New Jersey Family Leave Act (FLA)
Starting June 30, 2019, employers with 30 or more employees will be subject to the FLA and will need to provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected family leave. Previously, the law only applied to employers with 50 or more employees.
Next, the new law expands who is a “family member” to include siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, parents-in-law, any blood relative, and “any individual that the employee shows to have a close association with the employee which is the equivalent of a family relationship.”
Last, the new law allows the leave to be intermittent. This means the leave can be used over a full 12-month period instead of over 24 weeks under the existing law.
Family Leave Insurance Program (FLI)
Starting July 1, 2020, the new law increases the paid family leave insurance program to 12 weeks and increases intermittent FLI from 42 days to 56 days. Also, the FLI weekly benefit rate will increase to 85% of the employee’s average weekly wage, with a benefit cap of ($859).
Next, the FLI leave can be used for any situation unpaid leave can be taken under the New Jersey SAFE Act.
Last, the new law prohibits employers from discharging, harassing, discriminating or retaliating against an employee for using or requesting FLI benefits.