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New Jersey Paid Family Leave Insurance

Governor Corzine signed the New Jersey Paid Family Medical Leave Law on May 2, 2008. This law provides employees with 6 weeks of paid family leave at two-thirds of their weekly salaries up to a maximum of $561.00 per week. Paid leave will be for employees who are needed at home in order to care for a newborn or adopted child or to care for a sick family member.

The program will be funded through payroll deductions. The tax will appear on the employee’s pay stub and YESS as NJ FLI/EE.

Paid family leave will run concurrently with all other family leave programs. Family Leave Insurance benefits can be claimed in order to:

  • Bond with a child during the first 12 months after the child’s birth or during the first 12 months after the placement of the child for adoption with the covered individual.
  • Care for a family member with a serious health condition supported by a certification provided by a health care provider. Claims can be filed for six consecutive weeks, for intermittent weeks or for 42 intermittent days during a 12 month period beginning with the first date of the claim.

 

Family member means a child, spouse, domestic partner, civil union partner or parent of a covered individual.

Child means a biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild or legal ward of a covered individual, child of a domestic partner or the covered individual, or child of a civil union partner, who is less than 19 years of age or is 19 years of age or older but incapable of self-care because of mental or physical impairment.

Family Leave Facts

  •  The Family Leave Insurance benefits program provides a monetary benefit, not a leave entitlement.
  • The Family Leave Insurance program does not guarantee job protection although an individual may be protected if the individual qualifies for protection under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA).
  • An employee who intends to take a leave and claim Family Leave Insurance Benefits to participate in providing care for a seriously ill family member must give the employer reasonable notice. An employee who intends to take the leave on an intermittent basis must provide the employer with a minimum of 15 days notice.
  • An employee who intends to take a leave and claim Family Leave Insurance Benefits to participate in providing care for a seriously ill family member must provide medical certification from the family member’s doctor.
  • An employee who intends to take a leave and claim Family Leave Insurance Benefits to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child must give the employer 30 days notice prior to the beginning of the leave. Intermittent leave to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child must be taken in periods of seven days or more and the schedule must be agreed to by the employee and the employer.

 

Benefit Limitations

The first seven days following the filing of a claim is the waiting week. No benefits can be paid for this week until benefits have been paid for each of the three weeks immediately following the waiting week. If a period of family leave immediately follows an eligible period of temporary disability for the individual’s own illness, there is no waiting period for the Family Leave Insurance claim.

No Family Leave Insurance benefits are payable under the State Plan for the following:

  • Any period the claimant receives temporary disability benefits
  • Any period the claimant receives unemployment benefits
  • Any period the claimant receives full salary or paid time off
  • Any period the claimant is working

More information concerning the benefit limitations can be found on the Family Leave Insurance web site. You can also call the Office of Human Resources at extension 2283.

Funding

The plan will be 100% funded by employee contributions through payroll deductions. The tax is .12% of taxable wages in 2010. The wage base will change each calendar year.

Wage Requirements

To have a valid claim, you must have had at least 20 calendar weeks in New Jersey covered employment in which you earned $143 or more, or have earned $7,200 or more in such employment during the 52 weeks (base year) immediately before the week in which the family leave claim begins.

Weekly Benefit Amount

The weekly benefit amount is calculated on the basis of your average weekly wage.  If eligible, you will be paid two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to the maximum amount payable, which is $561 for 2010.

Total Benefit Amount

A claimant can receive a maximum of six weeks of Family Leave Insurance benefits in a 12 month period. The 12 month period is the 365 consecutive days that begins with the first day that the individual establishes a valid claim for Family Leave Insurance benefits.

How to Apply for Benefits

Applications will be available in the Office of Human Resources and at the Department of Labor and Workforce Development web site at http://lwd.state.nj.us/labor/index.html.

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