Having a stable job can make you feel invincible, especially if you are used to working in the gig economy where you hop from paycheck to paycheck. Even if you work in a salaried position that pays more than enough to cover your expenses, you are in a more vulnerable financial position than you think. You may have asked a family member for some feel-good personal finance advice after you saw how good your bank account balance looked once your paycheck was deposited, only to be told “don’t get sick.” Most working Americans are only one serious illness away from financial catastrophe, but employees in New Jersey have it better than employees in most other states. For questions about your right to paid medical leave as a New Jersey employee, contact a New Jersey paid sick leave lawyer.
The New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers to grant employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid medical leave, but federal law does not require paid sick leave. In most states, it is up to the employer’s discretion to decide how much paid sick leave, if any, to offer to workers. In 2018, New Jersey enacted the Earned Sick Leave Law. The law states that employees earn one hour of paid sick leave for every hour that they work; the maximum amount of paid sick leave employees can earn is 40 hours. This evens out to about a week of paid sick leave per year, assuming a 40-hour workweek.
Temporary Disability Leave in New Jersey
In addition to the sick leave that workers can accrue through the Earned Sick Leave Law, New Jersey law also provides for temporary disability leave, which is publicly funded instead of employees earning it directly through their employers. A few cents are deducted from the employee’s payroll every pay period to fund this program; employers and employees share the responsibility for paying this tax. Specifically, workers get 0.14% deducted from the first $151,900 that they earn in the year; the maximum deduction in 2022 for this program is $212.66.
You can claim temporary disability leave benefits for up to 12 weeks in a year. Qualifying reasons to claim these benefits include health conditions including physical and mental illnesses, pregnancy, and recovery from surgery. While on temporary disability leave, you get paid 85 percent of your average weekly wages. In 2022, the maximum amount you can get in temporary disability leave benefits is $993 per week.
If your ill health is due to a work accident, you should file a workers’ compensation claim instead of using your earned sick leave or applying for temporary disability leave.
Contact an Employment Lawyer About Paid Medical Leave
A paid medical leave lawyer can help you exercise your right to paid leave from your job and can help you resolve disputes with your employer related to it. Contact McOmber McOmber & Luber in Red Bank, NJ, Marlton, NJ, Newark, NJ, New York, NY, and Philadelphia, PA to discuss your case.