Chapter 2 Unemployment & Disability Insurance Benefits
Section 7 - Family Leave Insurance
New Jersey State Plan
Family Leave During Unemployment
Family Leave Insurance
New Jersey law provides up to six weeks (42 days) of Family Leave Insurance benefits. This program is financed by worker payroll deductions. Employers do not contribute to the program.
Benefits are payable to covered employees from either the New Jersey State Plan, or from a state-approved employer-provided private plan, to:
• Bond with a child during the first 12 months after the child’s birth, or during the first 12 months after the placement of the child with the covered individual for adoption.
For bonding claims after the birth of a child, the covered individual or the covered individual’s domestic partner or civil union partner must be the biological parent of the child.
Your employees must give you 30 days’ notice that they will be taking family leave to bond with their newborn or newly adopted child. If you inform us that you were not given proper notice, the benefit entitlement may be reduced by 14 days.
Bonding leave must be taken for a continuous period of at least seven consecutive days. If the employer permits an exception, the leave may be taken in non-consecutive seven-day periods.
• Care for a family member with a serious health condition that is supported by a certification provided by a health care provider. Claims may be filed for consecutive weeks, for intermittent weeks, or for intermittent days during a 12-month period, beginning with the first date of the claim.
“Family member” means a child, spouse, domestic partner, civil union partner, or parent of a covered individual.
“Child” means a biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild or legal ward of a covered individual, child of a domestic partner of the covered individual, or child of a civil union partner of the covered individual. A child is either less than 19 years of age, or older but incapable of self-care because of mental or physical impairment.
Employees covered under the New Jersey State Plan can obtain information about the program, as well as an application for Family Leave Insurance benefits (Form FL-1), here; by telephoning the Division of Temporary Disability Insurance’s Customer Service Section at (609) 292-7060, or by writing to the Division of Temporary Disability Insurance, PO Box 387, Trenton, NJ 08625-0387.
If the employee is receiving State Plan temporary disability benefits for pregnancy, after the child is born, the Division will automatically mail Form FL-2, Family Leave Insurance Benefits – New Mother Bonding to the employee. This form gives information about filing a claim for Family Leave Insurance benefits to bond with the newborn child. If the claim is filed for the period immediately after the employee recovers from her pregnancy-related disability, in most cases, she will receive the same weekly benefit amount she was paid for her pregnancy-related disability claim. No one may receive more than the maximum weekly benefit amount allowed by law for the year in which the claim is filed. No waiting period is required in this instance.
Submitting Wage Information
Accurate and timely wage information reported by employers is essential to the prompt processing of claims. Wage information is obtained primarily from either Part D of the Family Leave Insurance Application (Form FL-1), or from the Wage Request Form (Form E15). If the claimant indicates on the claim form that he/she worked for you at some time during his/her base-year period (52 weeks immediately preceding the week in which the period of family leave began), the Division may send you a wage report request.
You are required by law to supply the requested wage information. If you do not comply within 25 days from the date that the form was mailed to you, the Division will assess a $250 penalty.
Intermittent Family Leave
An employee who files a claim for intermittent Family Leave Insurance must complete the Intermittent Family Leave Claim form. This form is Part E of the Family Leave Insurance application (Form FL-1), and is also on the back of the Family Leave Insurance Continued Claim Certification (Form FL-3). Family Leave Insurance can be paid only for whole days of leave. Benefits are not paid for partial days of leave.
An authorized employer representative must sign the completed Intermittent Family Leave Claim form, confirming the dates indicated by your employee. This verification helps to prevent overpayments. No benefits will be authorized beyond the date of the employer’s signature.
Paid Time Off
You may require your employees to use up to two weeks of sick leave, vacation time, or other paid time off, but you must provide full pay for this leave time. If you require that your employees use up to two weeks of paid time off, you can request to have the maximum Family Leave Insurance allowance reduced by up to 14 days.
An employer can elect to provide workers with Family Leave Insurance benefits under a private plan that has been approved by the Division of Temporary Disability Insurance. The Division will not approve a private plan that requires employee contributions, unless a majority of the employees who will be covered by the private plan have agreed to private plan coverage by written election. Employers will provide information about the private plan and the proper forms for covered employees to claim benefits under the private plan.
If the period of Family Leave begins more than 14 days after the last day of covered employment and there is a separation from employment, the individual may be eligible for benefits under the Family Leave During Unemployment program. The individual must meet all requirements for unemployment benefits, except that he/she is not required to show availability for work. If the individual is on an approved leave of absence from covered employment, the individual may be eligible for benefits under the State Plan Family Leave Insurance Program.
If you disagree with any written determination that you receive for a Family Leave Insurance claim for the State Plan or Family Leave During Unemployment Office, you may file an appeal. Each determination contains a written statement about your appeal rights. All appeals must be submitted in writing and may be mailed, faxed, or sent via e-mail. You can find more information about appeals here.