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New Jersey Lawmakers Considering Proposal to Expand Family Leave Protections


According to a report from WHYY, a group of lawmakers in New Jersey are considering a proposal to expand family leave protections in the state. The bill—which still has a number of different steps to go through before it would become law—was introduced in the New Jersey General Assembly. If passed, it would gradually, but dramatically expand the number of employers in the state that are subject to family leave regulations. Within this blog post, our New Jersey employment lawyer provides an overview of the proposed bill.

Background: An Overview of the Existing Family Leave Protections in New Jersey

 In New Jersey, employees currently enjoy the right to take up to 12 weeks off to bond with a newborn, adopt or foster a child, or care for a sick relative under the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA). . Under New Jersey law, qualified workers can take job-protected leave without fear of retaliation or any other type of negative action from their employer. It is similar to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)—but the state law is more generous to employees in some key ways. Notably, the NJFLA covers employers with at least 30 employees.

 Proposed Legislation Would Expand Family Leave Protections in New Jersey 

The New Jersey Assembly is contemplating a significant expansion of the state’s Family Leave Act that would extend protections to those working in smaller companies. If passed and signed into law, the new measure will allow employees in companies with 20 or more employees to take family leave with a guarantee of job reinstatement. The guarantee will phase in over two years—and eventually it would apply  to businesses with as few as 5 employees.

The proposed expansion of the NJFLA intends to provide coverage to many more employees. It is strongly supported by some major labor unions and other employee rights groups. For example, the  New Jersey AFL-CIO argues that the change is a matter of fairness. It emphasizes that as many workers as possible should be protected by state law.

 What Happens Next: Several Steps Before Bill Can Become Law 

The proposed expansion of the NJFLA is still a long way from becoming law in our state. Indeed, before this bill can become law, it must navigate several legislative hurdles. The next immediate step is for the state Senate Labor Committee to review and approve the legislation. Following that, it will be presented to the full Upper House for a vote. Our employment team will keep a close watch on this legislation and any other developments that might impact the rights of our clients.

 Get Help From Our Monmouth County Employment Law Attorney Today

At Poulos LoPiccolo PC, our New Jersey employment attorneys have the professional experience you can trust. If you have any questions about family leave, we are here to help. Give us a call now or connect with us online for your strictly private, no obligation initial appointment. We provide employment law representation to employees in Monmouth County and throughout New Jersey.



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