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Aug08

Paternal leave in NJ

I work for a small company in NJ with 4 employees including the owner. Do we have to provide paid paternal leave? Is unpaid leave required and if so how much time is required by law? I read something about NJ having laws that require us to pay 66% of the pay during leave. Is that true? The employee has worked here for 2 years.

The New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) entitles an eligible employee of a covered employer to take 12 weeks of family leave within any 24 month period in order to provide care for the birth of a child, placement for adoption of a child, or a serious health condition of a family member. Employers with less than 50 employees are not subject to the NJFLA.

However, employees are entitled to paid family leave through the statewide Family Leave Insurance (FLI) program. The program builds on NJ’s Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) Program. Employees of all private and governmental employers, regardless of the number of workers, subject to the NJ Unemployment Compensation Law are covered for FLI benefits. For the purpose of unemployment and disability benefits, an employer is an individual, partnership, corporation or other entity for whom an individual performs personal services for remuneration.

The FLI program permits employers to provide coverage through an approved FLI private plan or the state-administered plan called the State Plan. Private plans must provide a benefit amount and benefit duration that equals or exceeds the State Plan, and eligibility requirements that are no more restrictive than the State Plan. The cost to the worker for private plan FLI coverage cannot be more than the cost to workers for State Plan coverage. All private plans must be approved by the Division of Temporary Disability Insurance.

Employers are required to withhold 0.001% from the taxable wage base of $31,500 for the FLI program. This is the same wage upon which the withholding for unemployment compensation and temporary disability insurance is based. The taxable wage base changes each year. Employers do not contribute to the program.

Employees are required to notify their employer of their intent to claim FLI benefits.

Employees intending to take leave to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child must provide the employer with a minimum of thirty (30) days notice prior to commencement of the family leave. Employees intending to take leave to care for a seriously ill family member on a continuous, non-intermittent basis must provide the employer with prior notice of the family leave in a reasonable and practicable manner, unless an emergency or other unforeseen circumstance precludes prior notice. Employees intending to take leave to care for a seriously ill family member on an intermittent basis must provide the employer with a minimum of fifteen (15) days notice prior to the commencement of the intermittent family leave unless an emergency or other unforeseen circumstance precludes prior notice.

Though an employee may not qualify for leave under the NJFLA, an employee on family leave, such as under an employer’s personal leave policy, would most likely be entitled to monetary benefits under the FLI program. The FLI program doesn’t guarantee leave entitlement or job protection.

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 8th, 2014 at 11:52 am and is filed under
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