New Jersey employers have all of the usual challenges that businesses must deal with daily, but they are also compelled to try to keep up with our state’s constant changes in employment law. Of course, it’s not enough to just know about the changes, you are required to comply with each new rule, regulation and statute.
Before next year's big expansion of New Jersey’s paid family leave program, employers should be aware of a couple of recent changes that went into effect. The changes are designed to make it easier for employees to take paid time off after the birth or adoption of a child, a disability or to care for a family member.
The state’s family leave insurance – paid for by payroll deductions – gives workers a portion of their wages while caring for a baby or an ill family member. Temporary disability insurance is for workers who cannot work because of illness or injury.
Employers should know that expectant moms are eligible for up to four weeks of temporary disability benefits before giving birth and up to six weeks of family leave benefits after the birth. (It should be noted that those mothers who deliver by C-section are eligible for eight weeks of family leave benefits.)
A new law streamlines the application process for workers so that they only have to submit a single application for those two sets of benefits.
A second law allows expectant mothers to apply for benefits up to 60 days before the actual claim period if they know when their expected leave is to begin. This change also applies to scheduled medical procedures such as surgeries.
Again, there will be an expansion of the benefits next summer, so employers shouldn’t get too comfortable with the current changes.
With the help of an attorney who knows current employment law and what is coming, you can adjust company policy and plans accordingly, saving time and money while avoiding litigation and fines.