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the cats paw

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for baby.jpgBoth state and federal laws govern family leave in New Jersey. The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and New Jersey Family Leave Act (FLA) have long provided 12 weeks of unpaid family leave for employees of employers with at least 50 employees. In 2008, New Jersey passed the New Jersey Paid Family Leave Act.

The Paid Family Leave Act mandates six weeks of paid family leave to care for a newborn or newly-adopted child, or to care for a family member with a serious health condition.

Eligible employees receive two-thirds of their salary (up to $524 per week). The benefits are paid by the State and funded by a tax from all employees’ paychecks; employers do not incur any direct costs.

Under the Paid Family Leave Act, employees must have worked at least 20 weeks to be eligible. Since the Paid Family Leave Act provides for only 6 weeks of paid leave, the remaining 6 weeks of leave under the FLA and FMLA, if the employee is eligible, would be without pay. Under the Paid Family Leave Act, the employer can substitute two weeks of vacation time for two weeks of paid leave. Under the FLA, the employer can require the employee to expend all of their vacation time while on leave. Employees are required to give advance notice when possible, such as childbirth or adoption. Employers cannot retaliate for an employee’s request for leave.

New Jersey’s Paid Family Leave Act does not expressly protect the employee’s position. Thus, an employee on paid family leave should also designate the time as leave under the FLA and FMLA which do protect their positions. This applies only to employers with fifty employees, so employees at smaller companies cannot protect their positions while they are on paid family leave.

Employers should be aware of the requirements of the family leave laws. Employees should know their rights – as well as their obligations. McLaughlin & Nardi’s attorneys are knowledgeable in all aspects of employment law, including family leave, and are experienced in representing both employers and employees.

McLaughlin & Nardi’s attorneys are experienced experienced in all aspects of employment law, including family leave, and are experienced in representing both employers and employees. To learn more about what we can do to help, please visit our website, e-mail us, or call one of our lawyers at (973) 890-0004.

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