In 2008 the N.J. Legislature passed a law that enables employees to take time off from work to care for a sick family member or bond with a newly born/adopted child and not lose full pay. This was called the N.J. Family Leave Insurance Act (FLIA). Since January 2009, every employee in the State is required by payroll deduction to pay a small premium of money (.08% of taxable wage base to a maximum of $27.52 in 2019)
This is an insurance program administered by the State of New Jersey. If an individual is granted a leave of absence under FMLA or NJFLA, they may be eligible to receive payment from the state. The payment is 2/3rds of your weekly pay up to a current maximum of $650.00 for 2019.
There is no payment if the leave is less than one week. If the leave is less than four weeks, the first week is excluded from payment. If the leave exceeds four weeks, the first week is then paid retroactively.
Some important changes went into effect over the summer.
- Employees are now eligible to take leave under the New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act (“NJ Safe Act”) to care for any individuals in the event of a domestic violence or sexually violent incident. The Law has changed so that an individual can apply for FLIA.
- Prior to July 2020 individuals are entitled to receive up to 6 weeks of benefits for family temporary disability leave. As of July 2020, the new law will increase those benefits to 12 weeks of consecutive leave.
- Also starting next Summer on July 1, 2020, individuals taking FLIA will be entitled to 85% of their average weekly wage up to a maximum of 70% of the Statewide average weekly wage for up to 12 weeks of consecutive leave.
- The new changes also extends the definition of a “family member “ to care for family members with serious health conditions to also include parent-in-law, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner, or any other individual related by blood to the employee , and any other individual that the employee shows to have a close association with the employee which is the equivalent of a family relationship.