Family Leave Insurance and Temporary Disability Benefits
S2304 was signed by New Jersey's governor on March 25, 2020. The new law expands the definition of “serious health condition” it allows workers to qualify for benefits if they or a loved one have been exposed to a communicable disease and must self-quarantine. Workers who fall ill from the coronavirus or who must care for a sick family member will be eligible for state paid leave benefits under this legislation. Workers will receive up to six weeks of benefits equal to ⅔ of their pay, capped at $667 per week.
Quick facts about New Jersey's paid family leave programs:
Family Leave Insurance
- FLI is a provision of the New Jersey Temporary Disability Benefits Law.
- Passed in 2009 and amended on Feb. 19, 2019, Family Leave Insurance builds on the state's TDI laws, first enacted in 1948.
- The taxable wage cap for PFL changes every Jan. 1.
- The law provides employees with up to six weeks of paid family leave each year, which will increase to 12 weeks on July 1, 2020.
- The state's program also runs concurrently with:
- The federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
- New Jersey Temporary Disability Benefits Insurance, which offers up to 26 weeks of paid disability leave each year.
Temporary Disability Insurance
- Provides cash benefits to workers who suffer an illness, injury, or other disability that prevents them from working, and wasn’t caused by their job.
- Requires that most employers in New Jersey have Temporary Disability Insurance for their employees
|Jan. 1, 2020|
- Employee wage cap for TDI and FLI increases from $34,400 to $134,900. Maximum employee contribution will also increase.
|July 1, 2020|
- Employees will be eligible for up to 12 weeks of paid family leave benefits.
- Weekly benefits increase to 85% of employees' average weekly wage to a maximum of $881 per week for both Temporary Disability Benefits and Family Leave Insurance.
NY PFL and TDI Funding
The family leave program is financed 100% by worker payroll deductions. Employers do not contribute to the program. New Jersey workers and employers both contribute to the cost of the temporary disability program.
|Temporary Disability Insurance|
- Employees contribute 0.26% of their first $134,900 earned during the calendar year, up to a maximum of $350.74.
|Family Leave Insurance|
- Employees contribute 0.16% of their first $134,900 earned during the calendar year, up to a maximum of $215.84.
Employers only contribute to the New Jersey Temporary Disability Insurance. Contribution ranges from 0.10% to 0.75% of the employee’s wages, capped at $35,300.
What Employers Need to Know about NJ PFL
Employers who have at least one employee for at least 30 days in a calendar year must either participate in the state program or offer a private insurance plan. Employers who participate in the state program must send employee contributions on their employees’ behalf.
Family Leave Insurance can't be privately insured or administered, unlike the state's Temporary Disability Insurance Plan.
Employers may offer a private temporary disability insurance plan1 instead of participating in the state’s Temporary Disability Insurance plan if:
- The Division of Temporary Disability Insurance approves the private plan2
- The majority of employees agree to the private plan’s costs to them if they’re required to contribute
- The private plan’s:
- Paid benefits are at least equal to the state’s plan
- Eligibility requirements are equal to or less restrictive than the state’s plan
- Coverage is at least equal to the state’s plan
- Cost to the employee is equal to or less than the state’s plan
Employers can visit New Jersey's Division of Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance page to learn more about New Jersey TDB.
1 Neither the employers nor their workers are required to contribute to the state’s Temporary Disability Insurance Trust Fund while the private plan remains in place.
2 While a private plan for TDI is an option, insurance carriers have traditionally not been approved to offer this in New Jersey.
NJ PFL Notification Requirements
- Post leave regulations in clearly visible places of the workplace
- Provide employees with leave regulations:
- At the time of hire
- When the employer is notified that an employee is taking covered leave
- If an employee requests a copy of the leave regulations
Who Is Covered Under NJ's Programs?
Employees who work in New Jersey are eligible for benefits if they contributed to the state plans through wage deductions and meet one of the following requirements:3
- Worked 20 weeks, earning at least $200 per week for a participating employer
- Earned a combined total of $10,000 in the previous four quarters
The following workers are exempt:
- Federal government workers
- New Jersey residents working out of state
- Independent contractors
3 Requirements may change each year.
Employees can receive up to 66.67% (or two-thirds) of their average weekly wage, up to a maximum of $667 per week. This maximum weekly benefits will increase to $881 on July 1, 2020.
Types of leave:
|Leave Type||Covered Leave||Maximum Leave Duration|
- Non-work related illness or injury
- Care and bond with a new child for the first year after birth, adoption or placement through foster care
- Provide care for a seriously ill or injured family member
(12 weeks, starting July 1, 2020)
- Temporary Disability provides benefits for expectant mothers when they need to stop working before giving birth, and while recovering afterward
- Family Leave provides benefits after the recovery period so new mothers can bond with their babies during the first year
26 weeks of TDI4
Six weeks of FLI
(12 weeks starting July 1, 2020)
4 Pregnancy claims typically pay benefits for 6-8 weeks, depending on the delivery. Additional weekly benefits would be subject to medical certification.
Covered or eligible family members include:
- Spouse or domestic partner
- Child (biological, adopted, foster, step, domestic or civil partner’s, or legal ward)
- Any individual related by blood to the employee
- Non-related individuals who have a close relationship with the eligible employee and are viewed as family
Visit New Jersey's Division of Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance page to learn more about New Jersey's PFL.