In a previous post, I said that I’d be posting further on the requirements of the New Jersey Family Leave Act.
1) FLA applicability & notice
The NJ Family Leave Act (FLA) applies to employers who employ 50 or more employees for 20 or more weeks in the current or preceding year, including the State of New Jersey. Affected employers must post “conspicuous notice” of employees’ rights and obligations under the FLA.
2) Proper reasons for FLA leave
As noted in a previous post, employees can only take the leave for the birth or adoption of a child or to care for a family member, spouse, or civil union partner with a serious health condition – not for the employee’s own health condition. Leave for an employee’s own serious health condition would be covered under the separate and distinct rules of the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
3) Duration of leave
Eligible employees may take 12 weeks of paid or unpaid FLA leave within any 24-month period. The employee must provide the employer with reasonable advance notice of intention to take FLA leave. It is up to the employer to choose exactly how to count the 24-month period.
An employer can require “certification” of the health condition or of the birth or adoption of a child. The certification must come from a health care provider.
5) A returning employee’s post-leave rights
Upon their return to work, employees who take FLA leave are entitled to either: 1) Have their old job back upon their return to work; or 2) Have another job that is equivalent to their old job in seniority, benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment. An employee would not be entitled to get their job back if they would’ve been let go anyway during a reduction in force or layoff.
6) Employer-sponsored health insurance
Health insurance that the employee had before the FLA leave is to remain in effect during the leave.
There is an anti-retaliation provision in the FLA, meaning that it is illegal for an employer to fire someone or otherwise discriminate against them for opposing a practice that would be illegal under the FLA.
8) Relationship to temporary disability
FLA leave is in addition to, not instead of, temporary disability benefits received under the Temporary Disability Benefits Law.