Q. Who is covered for Family Leave Insurance benefits?A. Employees of all private and governmental employers subject to the New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Law are covered.
Q. Are employees of small businesses covered for Family Leave Insurance benefits?A. Yes. All employees working for covered employers are covered for Family Leave Insurance benefits, regardless of the number of employees in the business.
Q. Can a governmental employer who has chosen not to elect coverage for Temporary Disability Insurance benefits under the New Jersey Temporary Disability Law choose not to elect coverage for Family Leave Insurance?A. No. A governmental employer may chose not to elect coverage for Temporary Disability Insurance, but there is no such exemption for Family Leave Insurance.
Q. Are school employees eligible to receive Family Leave Insurance benefits between academic years or terms or during a school-wide recess?A. No. An employee of an educational institution who has a reasonable assurance of returning to work in the same or similar capacity during the succeeding academic year or term or following a period of school-wide recess is not eligible for Family Leave Insurance benefits between academic years or terms or during a school-wide recess.
Exception: If an employee of an educational institution has sufficient base-year wages in other covered employment and those wages are sufficient to establish a valid Family Leave Insurance benefits claim, benefits can be paid based only upon the wages from the other covered employment for the period of time between the academic years or terms or during the school-wide recess.
Q. Must an employee notify the employer if he/she intends to claim Family Leave Insurance benefits?A. Yes. Employees intending to take leave to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child must provide the employer with a minimum of 30 days’ notice prior to commencement of the family leave. An employee’s failure to provide this notice will result in a two-week (14-day) reduction in the claimant’s maximum Family Leave Insurance benefits entitlement for the 12-month period, unless the time of the leave is unforeseeable or the time of the leave changes for unforeseeable reasons.
Employees intending to take leave to care for a seriously ill family member on a continuous, non-intermittent basis must provide the employer with prior notice of the family leave in a reasonable and practicable manner, unless an emergency or other unforeseen circumstance precludes prior notice.
Employees intending to take leave to care for a seriously ill family member on an intermittent basis must provide the employer with a minimum of 15 days’ notice before the commencement of the intermittent family leave unless an emergency or other unforeseen circumstance precludes prior notice.
Q. Is a claimant required to take Family Leave Insurance benefits all at one time?A. If the leave is to care for a seriously ill family member, the leave may be taken during one continuous period up to a maximum of six weeks, or intermittently up to a 42-day maximum in a 12-month period.
If the leave is to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child, the leave must be taken during one continuous period of time of seven days or more, unless both the employee and the employer have agreed to an intermittent leave schedule. In those cases, leave may be taken in non-continuous intermittent periods of seven days or more. All leave taken to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child must be taken during the 12-month period immediately following the birth or adoption of the child.
Q. How does the receipt of paid time off during the period an employee is claiming Family Leave Insurance benefits affect the amount of benefits that can be paid?A. Family Leave Insurance benefits will not be paid for any day the employee receives wages or other paid time off at full pay. Additionally, when an employer requires the claimant to use paid time off at full pay, the employer may, within a reasonable and practicable time, request that the claimant’s maximum Family Leave Insurance benefit entitlement during the 12-month period be reduced by the number of days of leave at full pay required by the employer to be used by the claimant. A full week of paid time off will reduce the claimant’s maximum entitlement by seven benefit days. Paid time off for periods less than a full week will result in a reduction of one benefit day for every day of paid time off at full pay. The maximum reduction is 14 benefit days. The employee is permitted to take any required fully paid leave during the waiting period.
Q. Can employees be covered by a private plan instead of the State Plan?A. Yes. The Family Leave Insurance Law permits employers to provide coverage through an approved Family Leave Insurance private plan instead of the state-administered plan called the State Plan. Private plans must provide a benefit amount and benefit duration that equals or exceeds the State Plan, and eligibility requirements that are no more restrictive than the State Plan. The cost to the worker for private plan Family Leave Insurance coverage cannot be more than the cost to workers for State Plan coverage. All private plans must be approved by the Division of Temporary Disability Insurance. Information regarding the benefits available under the private plan can be obtained from the employer.
Q. Can individuals who are unemployed file for Family Leave Insurance benefits?A. Yes. If a claimant applies for Family Leave Insurance benefits more than 14 days after his/her last day of work, benefits may be payable under the provisions of the Family Leave Insurance Benefits During Unemployment program. Individuals claiming benefits under this program must meet all the eligibility requirements of the Unemployment Compensation Law, but are not required to establish availability for work.
If eligible, benefits are paid for full weekly periods starting from Sunday through Saturday. There is no provision to pay for intermittent days under the Family Leave Insurance Benefits During Unemployment program.