New Jersey’s Friendly Paid Family Leave Law Just Got a Whole Lot Friendlier!

Continuing his trend of protecting and providing for middle class employees and working families in the State of New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy signed A3975 on February 19th, a law which effectively expands an already generous paid family leave program for those who are forced to miss work to care for a newborn child or other loved one suffering from a serious health condition, into one of, if not the most generous paid leave law in the nation.

Quoting the Governor, “No one should ever be forced to choose between caring for a family member and earning a paycheck”.

In summary, the new law (which has varying commencement time-tables) provides for the following:

  • Increases the number of weeks for NJ FLI (Family Leave Insurance) and NJ TDI (Temporary Disability Insurance) from 6 weeks to 12 weeks in any 12 month period, and increases the intermittent paid leave period from 42 days to 56 days in any 12 month period (effective July 2020);
  • Increases the current maximum weekly benefit from $650 a week to $860 a week during the leave, an increase from 66% of weekly pay to 85% (effective July 2020);
  • Contains an anti-discrimination/anti-retaliation and reinstatement provision for all employers with an employee population of 30 or more, down from 50 (effective June 30, 2019);
  • Broadens paid leave to care for those beyond immediate family members; the law now includes caring for siblings, in-laws, grandparents and grandchildren, domestic partners, other blood relatives, as well as any other unrelated individual that has such a close relationship that could be construed as “family” (effective immediately);
  • Applies when leave is needed to address domestic and sexual violence situations for one’s self or a family member (effective immediately).

Notably, the funding for A3975 shall be derived exclusively from employee payroll deductions, which means that current employee pay deductions will increase. Employers will not be required to contribute to these enhanced benefits.