On October 18, 2021, the Division on Civil Rights in New Jersey adopted amendments to the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA). These amendments expand protections for family leave related to COVID-19. Acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck emphasizes that this expansion will help families in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. These amendments offer New Jersey workers more qualifying reasons to take leave.
New Family Leave Provisions
The new rules reflect that the NJFLA allows eligible employees of covered employers to take as many as 12 weeks of job-protected leave during a 24-month period in order to care for and/or bond with a new child or to care for a family member or someone who is equivalent to family with a serious health condition. This new rule also expands the definition of “covered employees” to workplaces with 30 employees or more worldwide.
Further, the updated rules state that “parent” and “child” include parent-child relationships within LGBTQ families. Additionally, employees no longer have to give notice 30 days before taking leave in some situations. This new allowance includes employees who need leave to care for a family member during the pandemic.
Finally, furloughed employees are “eligible employees” under paid leave if the employer slowed business operations in response to COVID-19. The new rules also empower employees to take leave by protecting their positions. Generally, employees can return to the same positions they held prior to taking leave.
Get Legal Assistance
If you believe you fall under the expansion of the New Jersey Family Leave Act and need assistance understanding your rights or bringing a claim, we can help. For further assistance, please contact our Red Bank, New Jersey, office at (732) 842-6500, or our Marlton, New Jersey, office at (856) 985-9800, or our Newark, New Jersey office at (973) 787-9040.