As regular readers of our employment law blog know, we try to keep readers apprised of developments in federal and state employment laws and policies. New Jersey recently enacted an omnibus law that all employers should be aware of. The measure expands employee benefits in several key areas, including unpaid family leave, temporary paid family leave insurance and domestic or sexual violence safety leave.
Our state’s already generous worker protections and entitlements were significantly expanded by the legislation. The goalposts were moved in several key laws, including the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA), the Security and Financial Empowerment Act (SAFE Act) and the New Jersey Temporary Disability Benefits Act (TDB).
The changes require employers to review and amend their leave and benefits policies to ensure compliance. For many employers, that will mean sitting down with employment law attorneys to get guidance and counsel on needed changes to policies and programs.
One of the areas to be examined is the Family Leave Act. The omnibus law expands protections to employees of smaller firms. Previously, employers with 50 employees or more needed to extend unpaid leave of up to 12 weeks to workers. Starting July 1 of this year, businesses with 30 or more workers must provide those benefits to employees.
The SAFE Act was also amended. The new incarnation eliminates employers’ right to require workers to use accrued, unused vacation, sick leave or personal time during unpaid leaves.
If you are unclear about the many changes coming your way, contact a law firm experienced in helping companies successfully navigate the legal landscape.