New Jersey Family and Medical Leave Lawyers

The New Jersey Family Leave Act (FLA) applies to Employers with 50 or more employees working 20 or more work weeks per year. With advance notice to the employer when possible, workers are permitted 12 weeks leave in a 24-month period. To qualify, employees must be employed for at least 12 months, for not less than 1,000 base hours. Certain circumstances qualify an employee for Family Leave, including the birth or adoption of a child, serious health condition of a child, parent, spouse, but not for oneself (this is different than the federal statute—FMLA).

Employers can grant such a leave as paid, unpaid or a combination and they may require medical certification. Employers may deny leave when an employee is in the highest paid 5% or seven highest paid employees, to prevent economic injury.  However, employers must notify their employee immediately of any intent to deny leave.  Employees may take leave at any time within a year after birth or adoption, and may take leave intermittently if the employee and employer agree.  The employee may take leave on a reduced schedule for 24 consecutive weeks if the employer agrees and, if effort is made not to disrupt work operations. When the employee returns to work, the employee must be reinstated to the former or a comparable position with comparable employment terms.  The employer must conspicuously display employees’ rights with regard to Family Leave.

The Federal Family Medical Leave Act applies to employers with 50 or more employees.  Employees may qualify for 12 work weeks of leave during any 12-month period.  Employees must give notice 30 days before birth or adoption or medical treatment, if possible, and must be employed 12 months for at least 1,250 hours within previous 12 months. Leave may be continuous, intermittent or on a reduced schedule. Employees may qualify for leave for the birth of a child or to care for such child, adoption or foster care placement, to care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition, or due to a serious health condition of him or herself. The employer must display the employee rights to family leave conspicuously and when the employee returns to work, he or she must be reinstated to former or equivalent position.

Paid Family Leave

An employee may receive cash benefits payable for up to six (6) weeks to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child or to provide care for a seriously ill family member under the Family Leave Insurance provision of the New Jersey Temporary Disability Benefits Law.

Starting July 1, 2009, NJ employers are required to let all eligible employees take six weeks of paid leave, and employers should be aware of the various tax withholding requirements, posting and notice requirements and the proposed regulations to implement the NJ Paid Family Leave Insurance Benefit Law. These regulations include: Family Leave Insurance Benefits (Effective 3/2/2009), Wage Reporting, Contribution Reporting and Payment of Contributions (Effective 2/17/2009), and Contributions, Records and Reports (Effective 1/5/2009).

Employers should be aware that even if they have less than 50 employees, and therefore do not ordinarily have to abide by the terms of the N.J. Family Leave Act, employees of such entities are still entitled to request paid family leave for the reasons set forth above, which is administered through the New Jersey Temporary Disability Benefits Law.

Employers with employees who request family leave can contact one of the Employment lawyers at Einhorn Harris to obtain a briefing on their new responsibilities under these regulations. We serve businesses throughout New Jersey.

Call us at 973-627-7300 today.