New Jersey Expands Family Leave Insurance Coverage

In addition to the benefits increase for New Jersey TDB (Temporary Disability Benefits) insurance, the state also recently increased its Family Leave Insurance (NJFLI) benefits for New Jersey workers to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child or to care for a seriously ill or injured family members.

The more extensive FLI coverage can help New Jersey business owners compete with neighboring New York for top talent in competitive fields such as telecommunications, the tech sector, and retail management.

Best of all, the expanded coverage comes at no additional cost to employers; the program is fully funded by the state.

What New Jersey Business Owners Need to Know About NJFLI Right Now

Similar to New York PFL coverage, FLI insurance pays New Jersey employees up to 85% of their pay (capped at $860) for up to 12 weeks to care for a family member. New Jersey defines a family member as anyone related to the employee or anyone with a “close association equivalent to a family relationship.” This includes unmarried couples, extended family, or anyone else you treat as family.

Other Changes to NJFLI Law

In addition to the benefits rate, duration increase, and broader definition of a family member, the legislation, effective July 1, 2020, also introduced a few more changes to the law.

Employees do not have to exhaust two weeks of paid time off (PTO) before filing for FLI coverage. Instead, they can use PTO concurrently with NJFLI benefits, or take their PTO after their 12 weeks of family leave has run out.

There is no longer a seven-day waiting period to begin collecting benefits under FLI coverage.

Any New Jersey employer with 30 employees or more must provide this benefit to any of their workers based in New Jersey. Workers do not have to live in New Jersey to contribute toward the head count of a New Jersey business, however. For instance, if a car dealership in New Jersey has 25 workers who live in the state and 10 who commute from New York, the dealership must provide FLI benefits to their 25 employees who live in New Jersey.

How the SAFE Act in New Jersey Works with NJFLI

In addition to increasing TDB and FLI benefits, New Jersey recently changed the New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment (SAFE) Act to better correspond with FLI benefits. SAFE Act legislation applies to employers with 25 or more employees. It provides job protection for up to 20 days in any 12-month period for any individual or a family member who is a victim of domestic violence or a sexually violent offense.

Under the new FLI legislation, employees who qualify for leave through the SAFE Act are also eligible to apply for paid leave through FLI.

New Jersey business owners and human resource professionals should understand how family leave insurance, the SAFE Act, and TDB coverage work together to provide New Jersey workers with the partial salary replacement and job protection they need in a variety of circumstances.

You can privatize your TDB coverage in New Jersey for added cost savings and additional benefits.

Contact the insurance professionals at EZTDB today to start saving on your employee benefits now.