New Jersey Leave Law
In addition to rights under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) employees of the State of New Jersey are protected by a State Family Leave Law. The State law is similar to the Federal FMLA, with some slight differences. Below is a brief summary of the state law.
If you are considering taking leave, consult with your Human Resource Office for additional details.
Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for State Family Leave you must:
- Have worked for at least 12 months;
- Have worked at least 1,000 hours during the immediately preceding 12-month period (Federal FMLA requires 1,250 hours); and
- Work for an employer who employs 50 or more employees during each of 20 or more workweeks in the current or immediately preceding calendar year.
How Much Leave Will I Get?
You are entitled to 12 weeks of leave for every 24-month period (this is less generous than the FMLA, which permits 12 weeks every 12-month period).
What Are Legitimate Reasons To Use Leave?
- Because of the birth of your child (must take leave within 1 year of birth).
- Because of adoption or placement of a foster child (must take leave within 1 year of placement).
- To care for your child, spouse, civil union partner, or parent who has a serious health condition.
Is Family Leave Paid?
State Family Leave is unpaid leave. However, you may decide to use accrued paid leave, if you have any, in conjunction with your Family Leave time off.
Is A Doctor's Note Required?
Your employer may require you to provide certification by a licensed health care provider.
When you take leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition, the certification should include:
- The date on which the serious health condition began.
- The probable duration of the condition.
- Medical facts regarding the condition.
If leave is taken in connection with the birth or placement of your child, the certification need only state the date of birth or date of placement.
What Notice Am I Required To Give?
If your need for leave is foreseeable, you must give notice in a manner which is reasonable and practicable.
What Happens To My Health Benefits While On Leave?
Your employer must continue your coverage under any group health insurance policies, contracts or health care plans at the same level you would receive if you continued working.
For More Information
See: www.state.nj.us/labor .
Researched and written by:
Lisa Gerson, Esq. McDermott Will & Emery LLP New York, NY