New Jersey Family Leave Insurance
New Jersey law provides for partial wage-replacement benefits for individuals who need to take time off to care for sick family members or to bond with a child under the New Jersey Family Leave Insurance (FLI) program. However, even though this program provides monetary benefits, it does not provide leave (or time off) to employees.
Instead, employees can qualify for family and/or medical leave under laws such as the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA). As a result, in New Jersey it is important to know first whether you have a right to take leave and have your job protected for you until you return. One should also know if such leave will be paid.
How To Get Employee Coverage
Employees pay into the state's family leave insurance program via payroll deductions from their paychecks. Wage requirements also apply. Not all employers provide these options because government doesn't require all employers to do so. This means that the details of a worker's employment are crucial determining their eligibility within this program.
The Benefits Provided
Payments from these family insurance plans won't make up for the entirety of a worker's standard pay. Instead, those who qualify get weekly benefits of two-thirds (2/3) of their average weekly wage. This payment is limited to a maximum of $559 per week. The maximum duration of benefits is 6 weeks within a 12-month period.
Qualifying Reasons for Leave
Employees who pay into the New Jersey Family Leave Insurance plans can utilize the plan for specific, strictly determined family/medical circumstances. Note, this insurance plan doesn't apply to the worker's individual health needs.
The following are qualifying reasons for leave and the associated benefits:
1) The need to care for a spouse, domestic partner, civil union partner, parent, or child who has a serious health condition
2) The need to bond with a newborn baby, adopted or foster child (New Jersey workers can now get up to 85% of their average weekly wage.)
A "serious health condition" typically must be certified by a health care provider. An appropriate medical source must certify the illness, injury, impairment, physical or mental condition. The condition must require inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility or continuing medical treatment or supervision by a health care provider.
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Contact a qualified employment attorney to make sure your rights are protected.