Diegnan Bill To Expand NJ’s Paid Family Leave Gains Senate Approval, Sent To Governor

Measure Would Boost Insurance Benefits for Family/Medical Care 

TRENTON – Legislation authored by Senator Patrick Diegnan to expand New Jersey’s Paid Family Leave Law was approved by the Senate at the end of the June voting session. The bill, S-3085, would expand the successful program that allows employees to take time from work to care for newborn children or for sick family members. The legislation, already approved by the New Jersey Assembly, will increase the amount of the weekly benefit and lengthen the leave time under the insurance program currently in place.

“Expanding family leave benefits helps to address the needs of working people who face the demands of supporting their families at the same time they experience the responsibilities of caring for their children or other family members,” said Senator Diegnan. “This is an insurance program that supports working families during emergency circumstances when their loved ones experience serious medical problems. It is a compassionate program with practical benefits.”

Sign Up for E-News

The number of weeks of benefits would be extended from six to 12 in any one-year period and, in cases of intermittent leave, the maximum number of days is increased from 42 to 84. The weekly benefits would increase from two-thirds of a worker’s average weekly wage to 90 percent, subject to the maximum of 78 percent of the statewide average wage for all workers. This year, the cap on weekly benefits is $633, according to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development, an amount that increases annually as the statewide average wage grows. If the bill were implemented this year the cap on weekly benefits would be $932.

The original paid family leave law, which put New Jersey in the forefront as the second state in the country to provide for paid leave. The 2009 law gives workers six weeks off to care for a newborn or newly adopted child, or a sick parent, spouse or child with up to two-thirds pay, capped at the weekly limit. 

The costs of the insurance benefits, which are funded exclusively by employee contributions and are administered through the state’s unemployment insurance fund, will not increase because of changes in the method of calculating the rate of contributions and by ending of diversions from the temporary disability insurance fund. Employees will not pay any more in their contribution to the Family Leave and Temporary Disability funds than when the paid leave program started in 2009. The current employee contribution of approximately 50 cents a week is limited to a maximum of $33.50 this year.

The bill would also:

a)expand the definition of family to include siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, and parents-in-law;

b)include job protections after June 30, 2018 for employees working for employers who employ 20 or more employees, reduced from the current threshold of 50 or more employees;

c)provide FLI for any worker who engages in activities for which unpaid leave is provided under the New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act (NJ SAFE) to assist family members of the worker who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault;

d)add reporting, outreach and claim determination goals from the Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

The current eight-year program has succeeded with employees and businesses, but Senator Diegnan believes that greater public awareness resulting from the program’s expansion will increase participation rates. Three out of four workers say they view the program favorably, and support crosses gender, race/ethnicity, age, marital status, union affiliation, employment status and income.  The majority of both small and large businesses say they have adjusted easily, according to a Rutgers study.

Senator Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr.  

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Edison

Upcoming Events

Wed, June 27, 12:15 PM

Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen, Edison

Wills and Estate Planning- Free Seminar

Education

Carousel_image_855652b94dad7cfd1c72_mini_magick20180618-30381-1j0t0jb

Tue, July 17, 6:00 PM

Westfield Presbyterian Church, Westfield

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Education Health & Wellness

Rutgers Takes Over New Brunswick Police Dispatch Service

June 21, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers University will provide the city’s police dispatching services in a move that New Brunswick says will cut costs and put an end to dispatcher shortages that resulted in officers doing the job.

The city’s 12 current dispatchers will be laid off at the end of the day on June 30, and Rutgers will supply dispatchers as of July 1 under an agreement that city ...

Applications to Rutgers Jump Nearly 10 Percent; Increase from Out-of-State Students

June 15, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Applications to Rutgers University this year increased 9.4 percent over last year, university President Robert Barchi told the Board of Governors at a meeting this week.

The university received nearly 45,000 applications this year, Barchi said.

That included a 20 percent increase in the number of students from out-side New Jersey applying to Rutgers, the university ...

Susan G. Komen North Jersey Increases Program Funding by 15% for 2018-2019 and Awards 13 Grants to 11 Local Community Non-Profit Organizations

June 21, 2018

Susan G. Komen North Jersey announced that it will award a total of 13 grants to 11 local community non-profit organizations in its nine-county service area for 2018-2019, with an increase in total program funding at 15% year over year. Since its founding in 1997, Komen North Jersey has awarded nearly $19 million to local community programs in nine North Jersey counties and has directed more than ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

Small Business Ownership vs. Entrepreneurship

Written by: Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter and author of The Green Lane, a syndicated column, Published on 6/18/2018

Tags: Business, Community, Crowdfunding, Economy, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Small Business

Source: So, which are you – a Small Business Owner or an Entrepreneur? We compare the similarities and differences between the two, so you can ...