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New Jersey Employment Lawyers > Blog > Family Leave Act > How Do You Exercise Your Rights Under the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA)?

How Do You Exercise Your Rights Under the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA)?


The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides qualifying workers with the right to take unpaid, job-protected time off to handle certain family/medical situations. The New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) is a state-based counterpart to the FMLA—and it covers even more employees. Here, our Monmouth County family leave attorneys provide a comprehensive overview of the most important things that you need to know about exercising your rights under the NJFLA.

You Must Ensure Your Situation is Covered By the NJFLA 

As a starting point, you need to confirm that you are covered by the New Jersey Family Leave Act. While your employer could voluntarily grant you leave regardless of your circumstances, you only have legally protected rights under the NJFLA if you are covered by the law and your family emergency falls under the statute. The NJFLA applies to employers with 30 or more total employees. To be clear, the law counts worldwide employees—an employer can be covered even if they do not have 30 workers in New Jersey. There are two circumstances that are covered by the law:

  1. Taking unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 12 weeks to care for the birth or adoption of a new child;
  2. Taking unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 12 weeks to care for a family member who has a serious health condition. 

Note: Even if you lack leave rights under the NJFLA, you may have job-protected leave rights under the federal FMLA. For example, New Jersey’s state law does not cover an employee’s own medical condition. However, the FMLA does. Some workers may have FMLA leave rights.

 How to Take Leave: Notify Your Employer and Provide Appropriate Documentation 

Taking leave under the New Jersey Family Leave Act requires a two-step process. First, you must notify your employer of your intention to take leave. It is crucial to provide ample notice, preferably in writing, to the maximum extent possible given your situation. As a general rule, the notice should detail the start and end dates of the leave and the reason for it. A minimum of 30 days notice is advised for foreseeable events. For example, the birth of a child is largely (but not entirely) foreseeable. Of course, an infant born prematurely would not be foreseeable.

Beyond providing notice to your New Jersey employer, you should also be prepared to provide appropriate documentation. What constitutes proper documentation is highly case specific. It could include something like include medical certifications from healthcare providers or basic proof of the birth or adoption of a child. Ensure the documentation clearly states the necessity of the leave and the expected duration.

 Contact Our Monmouth County Family and Medical Leave Attorney Today

At Poulos LoPiccolo PC, our Monmouth County employee rights attorney has the legal experience needed to take on the full range of family leave cases. If you have any questions about exercising your rights under the NJFLA, we are here to help. Contact us today for more information. We represent workers in Monmouth County and all across the State of New Jersey.



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