Can I Take Family Leave in New Jersey?

Mount Laurel employment lawyers help clients with family leave issues.As of June 30, 2019, more employees are eligible for leave under New Jersey’s Family Leave Act (NJFLA), which offers certain benefits beyond the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Previously, only employers with 50 or more employees had to comply with the NJFLA. Now, the NJFLA applies to those employing at least 30 workers during each working day in the “20 or more calendar workweeks in the then current or immediately preceding calendar year.”

New Jersey Family Medical Leave Act

Under the FMLA, eligible workers may take up to 12 weeks off during any 12-month period. Under the NJFLA, eligible workers may take up to 12 weeks off during any 24-month period without fear of losing their job or other forms of retaliation. Only those workers employed by their current employer for at least the prior 12 months and who have worked at least 1,000 hours during that period are eligible for leave.

While federal law applies to companies with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius, the NJFLA has no radius limits.

Under federal and New Jersey law, most employees have reinstatement privileges upon their return from leave. They are reinstated at either their same job or an equivalent position.

Employees should give at least 30 days’ notice to the employer when requesting leave. Of course, leave is often needed due to an emergency, so the bottom line is giving as much notice as reasonably possible.

Leave Reasons

By law, leave is available only for particular purposes, primarily dealing with personal and family health. In New Jersey, an eligible employee may take leave to:

  • recover from a serious health matter;
  • care for a family member with a serious health problem;
  • bond with a new child;
  • deal with certain issues arising from the military service of a family member; or
  • care for a family member seriously injured while on active military duty.

A serious illness under the NJFLA is considered any condition requiring hospitalization or hospice care, a stay in a residential care facility, or undergoing continuing medical treatment under a physician’s supervision.

NJFLA also expands the family member definition from the FMLA. In New Jersey, family members for NJFLA purposes are not just spouses, children or parents, but also parents-in-law, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, civil union partners, or “any person related by blood to the employee,” or anyone with whom the employee has a close, family-like relationship.

Employees may experience other serious issues, such as the loss of a home to fire or natural disaster, in which they might seek leave from an employer. The employer is not obligated by law to permit leave for other purposes.

Mount Laurel Employment Lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC, Help Clients with Family Leave Issues

If you or a loved one is dealing with a dispute over family leave with an employer, you need the services of the experienced Mount Laurel employment lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC. Call us today at 856-235-7075 or contact us online. From our offices in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including the areas of Cherry Hill and across Burlington County and Camden County.