FMLA: New Jersey
Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.
Author: Jeanine R. Idrissa, Littler Mendelson, PC
- The New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) covers private employers of 50 or more employees. See Employer Coverage.
- Employers must be aware that even employees who work outside of New Jersey are included in this formulation for purposes of determining whether the employer has met the 50-employee threshold. See Employer Coverage.
- There are only two circumstances under which an eligible employee may qualify for leave under the NJFLA: (1) birth or placement for adoption of a child; or (2) the serious health condition of a child, parent, spouse or a partner in a civil union. See Employee Eligibility.
- Unlike the FMLA, the NJFLA does not cover leave for an employee's serious health condition. See Length and Purpose of Leave.
- Under certain circumstances employees may take intermittent or reduced schedule leave. See Intermittent and Reduced Schedule Leave.
- All covered New Jersey employers are required to adequately advise employees of their rights and responsibilities under the NJFLA. In addition to displaying the official Family Leave Act poster, employers are also required to maintain and provide employees with written guidelines regarding NJFLA benefits. See Notice and Certification Requirements.
- NJFLA is an unpaid leave. If an employer has a past practice or policy of requiring employees to exhaust all accrued paid leave during a leave of absence, the employer may require employees to do so during a family leave. If an employer has a policy of allowing employees to take unpaid leaves without first exhausting accrued paid leave, it may not require employees to exhaust accrued paid leave while on family leave. See Compensation and Benefits During Leave.
- Employees are prohibited from taking a new full-time position with another employer during the course of their leave. However, employees are specifically allowed to continue a full-time or part-time position, if the employee had the position prior to the leave. See Moonlighting.
- An employee who has taken leave under the NJFLA is entitled to reinstatement to the same or an equivalent position with like seniority, status, benefits, pay and other terms and conditions of employment, unless the employee would have lost his or her position as the result of a bona fide layoff if he or she was not on leave. See Reinstatement.
- The New Jersey Family Leave Insurance Law, commonly referred to as the Paid Family Leave Law (PFLL), provides covered individuals family leave insurance benefits. This is a monetary benefit, not a leave entitlement. See Paid Family Leave Law.
- Unlike the FMLA and the NJFLA, the PFLL covers all New Jersey employers subject to unemployment compensation law, regardless of the number of employees they employ. See Covered Employers.
- In order to receive benefits under the PFLL, the employer and the employee must complete forms provided by the Division of Temporary Disability Insurance of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (the Department). See Filing for Benefits.
- Unlike the FMLA and NJFLA, when an employee files a claim for family leave insurance, the PFLL does not grant employees an automatic right of reinstatement after taking leave. See No Guaranteed Right of Reinstatement.
- Pregnant employees may be entitled to a leave of absence as an accommodation under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. See Pregnant Workers.
- If an employer has employees working in Jersey City, Newark and/or Trenton, it may have to comply with those cities' paid sick leave ordinances. See Local Ordinances.