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HR ALERT: NJ Paid Family Leave

Governor Murphy has yet again signed a bill into law providing New Jersey employees with greater benefits. This new law expands the already existing paid family leave program in New Jersey, which has been in place since 2009.

The existing program has provided paid leave to workers for up to six weeks, at a benefit equal to two-thirds of their pay, with a maximum benefit of $650 per week.

Under this new law, which takes effect July 1, 2020, employees will be able to take 12 weeks of paid leave. Weekly benefits will increase to 85 percent of an employee’s weekly wage, capped at 70 percent of the state average weekly wage.  Using this year as a guide, the maximum weekly benefit possible would be $860 under the new law. Workers will also be able to take more time on an intermittent basis, increasing from 42 days to 56 days within a 12-month period. See below for a chart of these changes.

 

Current (since 2009)

After July 1, 2020

Paid Time Off

6 weeks

12 weeks

Weekly Benefit

67% of pay

85% of pay

Maximum Benefit

$650` per week

$860 per week

Intermittent Leave

42 days

56 days

The law further broadens the list of people for whom employees may take paid time off to care, similar to the recently passed Paid Sick Leave law. Benefits will now be available to workers caring for siblings, in-laws, grandparents, grandchildren, other blood relatives, and any other individual who can be shown as having an equivalent of a family relationship.

Leave may also be taken by victims of domestic violence or sexual assault, and for family members who care for such victims.

Additionally, the law will now provide job protection to workers who take paid family leave while employed at companies with 30 or more workers.  The current law only provides such protection if a company has 50 or more employees.

While many aspects of this new law don’t take effect for some time, businesses should begin to take a look at their existing policies to ensure compliance before next year.

As a mentor to our clients, Lisa Calick, SPHR is responsible for providing HR solutions to both colleagues and clients, helping to strengthen operational processes, allowing them time to focus on their core strategic goals. Reach Lisa at 973.577.2877 or lcalick@wiss.com.

governormurphy, HR, humanresources, paidfamilyleave

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