Do you need to take time off from work to care for a family member? Here are some
important things to know.

Both federal and state law permit employees to take time off from work to care for a family member with a serious health condition. New Jersey’s law, the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) has been recently expanded. In many ways, the NJFLA provides greater protections than the FMLA.

Beginning on June 30, 2019, employers with 30 or more employees must provide 12 weeks of job protected leave during each 24-month period. The employee must have worked atleast 1000 hours during the prior 12 months. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
only applies to employers with 50 or more employees.

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When Can I Use NJFLA?
With appropriate notice to your employer, NJMLA leave includes parental leave after the
birth or adoption of a child (2) placement of a child into foster care; (3) medical leave to care for family member with a serious health condition. Leave may be taken on a continuous or on an intermittent basis may be taken. Generally, you should give as much notice as possible, but
usually at least 30 days. Fifteen days advance notice may be given when the leave is on an
intermittent basis. Sometimes the need for leave is an emergency (or unforeseeable). In this case, you just give as much notice as you reasonably can.

Who Qualifies as Family under the NJFLA?
The NJFLA has expanded the definition of “family member.” Leave may be taken for care of a “parent-in-law,” “sibling,” “grandparent,” grandchild, spouse, domestic partner, one partner in a civil union couple, or any other person related by blood to the employee, or other person with whom the employee has a close association equivalent to a family relationship.

What Qualifies As A Serious Health Condition?
Serious health condition means an illness, injury or impairment or physical or mental condition which requires inpatient care in a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facilityor continuing medical treatment or continuing supervision by a health care provider.

Can My Employer Deny Leave for A Serious Health Condition?
An employer may deny leave in some narrow circumstances where your leave causes
“grievous injury to the employer’s economic operations.”

Can My Employer Retaliate for My Taking New Jersey Family Leave?
Your employer may not interfere or deny the exercise of a right under the NJFLA, which
includes filing a charge of discrimination under the NJFLA or giving testimony related to a right
under the act.

What Remedies Are Available Under the NJFLA?
Generally, you should be restored to the job with the same benefits you had before you
took NJ family leave. If an employer violates your rights under the NJFLA, the employer may be liable for economic damages, reasonable attorney fees of your lawyer, emotional distress
damages and civil penalties.

Will I Be Paid During Family Leave?
In addition to New Jersey Family Leave Insurance provides wage replacement to
employees on family leave through New Jersey’s temporary disability leave benefits program.
Visit the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development for more information at

The information contained in this article is not intended to create an attorney client
relationship. If you need help with a specific legal problem, contact a qualified attorney. Want
more information or have a question?

Feel free to contact David Rostan or Fred Shahrooz Scampato, attorneys who focus their practice in employment law for over twenty years. David can be reached at 973-520-8301, by email at or by visiting his web site Fred can be reached at 908-301-9095, by email at or by visiting his website www.njlaborlaw