On February 19, 2019, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a bill that expands coverage and increases benefits under New Jersey’s Family Leave Act. Below are details pertaining to this law along with a link to the department’s website.
As of June 30, 2019, the New Jersey Paid Family Leave Act employer coverage will increase from a 50 employee requirement to a 30 or more employee requirement for each calendar day of at least 20 calendar workweeks in the current or immediately preceding calendar year. Along with broadening the definition of covered employer, the Act expanded other key definitions. The following changes are effective immediately:
• Expanded the definition of “parent” to include foster parents and those who become parents via a gestational carrier
• Expanded the definition of “family leave” to include care for foster children and children who are born via a gestational carrier
• Expanded the definition of “family member” to include siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, parents-in-law, domestic partners, any individuals related to the employee by blood, and “any other individual that the employee shows to have a close association with the employee which is the equivalent of a family relationship”
The Act increased the weekly benefit for individuals taking qualifying leave and the maximum duration of benefits. It has also increased the availability of a reduced leave schedule and/or intermittent leave.
Employees who take qualifying family leave beginning on or after July 1, 2020 will be entitled to receive Family Leave Income benefits of 85% of their average weekly wage (capped at 70% of the statewide average weekly wage), up from two-thirds of their pay.
The Act increases the paid family leave allotment from six to 12 weeks in a 12-month period for any period of leave commencing on or after July 1, 2020. It also increased the leave allotment for any period of intermittent leave from 42 days to 56 days of intermittent leave in any 12-month period.
Lastly, the Act doubles an employee’s maximum entitlement to a reduced leave schedule for any one period of leave to 12 consecutive months which is up from 24 consecutive weeks. It then allows employees to take intermittent leave for foster care placement, as well as for the birth or adoption of a child, without requiring employer approval.
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This information is provided as a courtesy, may change and is not intended as legal or tax guidance. Employers with questions or concerns outside the scope of a Payroll Service Provider are encouraged to seek the advice of a qualified CPA, Tax Attorney or Advisor.