United States: New Jersey Expands Family Leave Laws To Provide Greater Benefits To Employees

Executive Summary: On February 19, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law legislation that significantly expands an employee's right to unpaid and paid leave under New Jersey's existing Family Leave Act ("NJFLA"), Temporary Disability Benefits Law ("NJTDL"), and Security and Financial Empowerment Act ("SAFE Act"). These amendments will have a significant effect upon employers in New Jersey, who should review their current policies and procedures immediately to ensure compliance.

Background: New Jersey provides a number of protections to employees in the form of unpaid and paid leaves of absence. The NJFLA gives employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid protected leave in a 24-month period for qualified reasons, including to bond with a "child" or to care for the serious illness, injury or health condition of a "family member." The NJTDL provides partial wage replacement benefits to those qualified individuals who: (i) suffer from their own injury or disability (including pregnancy) ("temporary disability leave benefits") or (ii) need to bond with a "child" or care for the serious illness, injury or health condition of a "family member" ("family temporary disability leave benefits"). For most employers, these paid benefits are administered by the state and funded through payroll contributions. Finally, the SAFE Act provides unpaid leave for employees who are the victims of domestic violence or assault, or have a family member who is a victim.

The Amendments: The new legislation signed by Governor Murphy on February 19 expands protections under these laws, most significantly as follows:


  • Covered Employers: Effective June 30, 2019, the NJFLA will apply to employers with 30 or more employees, thereby bringing more small employers into the law's purview. Currently, the NJFLA only applies to employers with 50 or more employees, which is similar to the federal FMLA.
  • "Family Member" and "Child" Expanded: Effective immediately, the law amends the definition of "family member" to include "parent-in-law, sibling, grandparent, grandchild," "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." The law also adds that an employee may take leave in connection with the placement of a child into foster care with the employee, or when a child becomes the child of the employee pursuant to a "valid written agreement" between the employee and a gestational carrier.
  • Intermittent Leave: Effective immediately, the amendment permits employees to use intermittent leave upon the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a "child." Previously, intermittent leave was only permitted with the employer's approval.
  • Reduced Schedule: Under the prior law, employees were permitted to take leave on a reduced leave schedule for up to a maximum of 24 consecutive weeks. Effective immediately, the amendment increases this to up to a maximum of 12 consecutive months.
  • Notice Requirement: For intermittent leave requests, the law reduces the employee's obligation to provide advance notice from 30 days to 15 days effective immediately.


  • Family Member: For purposes of family temporary disability leave benefits ("FLI"), the amendment immediately expands the definition of family member to include those categories of individuals listed above in the NJFLA amendments.
  • Benefit Amounts: Effective July 1, 2020, the law: (i) increases the benefit period from six weeks to 12 weeks in a 12-month period for FLI; (ii) increases the maximum intermittent leave period from 42 days to 56 days for FLI; and (iii) increases the maximum benefits payable to eligible employees from $650 per week to $860 per week for FLI and for the employee's own illness or disability.
  • Use of PTO or other Employer-Paid Benefits: Previously, the law permitted employers to require employees to use up to two weeks of existing PTO, vacation or other employer-paid leave benefits in lieu of FLI. The amendment now prohibits this action, and allows only the employee to elect whether to use PTO or other similar benefits. Furthermore, under the law, an employee's use of PTO or similar benefits will not reduce the amount of state FLI benefits available to the employee.
  • Anti-Retaliation: The law creates a new provision stating that employers may not discharge, harass, threaten or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against an employee who requests paid benefits pursuant to the NJTDL – whether for FLI benefits, or for the employee's own illness or disability. Specifically, employers may not refuse to reinstate an employee after a period of leave. This anti-retaliation provision also permits individuals to sue for alleged violations and provides for monetary damages, attorneys' fees and costs, and injunctive relief if the individual is successful.
  • Private Plans: The amendments also modified certain requirements for employers who utilize private plans to fund benefits pursuant to the NJTDL in lieu of the state-run program.


  • Family Member: Effective immediately, the amendment expands "family member" to include those categories of individuals listed above in the NJFLA amendments.
  • Eligibility for NJFTD Benefits: The amendment permits individuals eligible for leave under the SAFE Act to seek wage replacement benefits from the state pursuant to the NJTDL.
  • Use of PTO or other Employer-Paid Benefits: Previously, the law permitted employers to require employees to use existing PTO, vacation or other employer-paid leave benefits for SAFE Act purposes. The amendment now prohibits this action, and allows only the employee to elect whether to use PTO or other similar benefits while on leave under the SAFE Act.

Bottom Line for Employers: Employers should review their current policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the expanded protections and benefits provided by these amendments. Since some of these amendments are effective immediately, employers should take action as soon as possible to ensure compliance.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Sign Up
Gain free access to lawyers expertise from more than 250 countries.
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Newsalert
Select Topics
Select Regions
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions