Strong Families: New Jersey Paid Family Leave

New Jersey is one of four states in the nation currently offering paid family leave for parents to bond with their newborn or infant, but in 2016, fewer than 27,000 employees filed bonding claims to receive paid time off.

Assemblywoman Annette Quijano’s op-ed explains why New Jerseyans are not using paid family leave. She is the primary sponsor of A3975.

Paid family leave allows parents to spend time caring for their children without experiencing a complete loss of wages during this important bonding period. New Jersey’s family leave program allows employees to take paid leave for six weeks at a rate of two-thirds their current salary with a maximum benefit of $615 per week. New Jersey also protects some employees from termination or discipline for taking time off after a child’s birth, but only for those in companies with 50 employees or more.

The NJ Family Leave Insurance program, adopted in 2009, was a great start. But too many working people are unable to access it. ACNJ is supporting legislation (S2528 / A3975) that is pending in the New Jersey  Legislature, which would:

  • Increase the paid leave amount to more closely match a worker’s actual wages,
  • Ensure workers are eligible to use the program to care for a wide range of family members,
  • Expand the available time from 6 to 12 weeks of paid leave to provide care and
  • Provide job protection for more workers who take time off.

View the petition organized by the New Jersey Time to Care Coalition.

By the Numbers