Recently San Francisco and New York have made headline news for their updated paid family leave laws for families that need to take time off of work to care for a new child or tend to a sick family member. However, few people realize that New Jersey has had a similar law in place for the past 7 years. New Jersey is actually only 1 of 3 states that provides paid leave for individuals to take care of a new child or a sick relative.

New Jersey currently provides 6 weeks of paid family leave where workers collect 2/3 of their regular pay, with the weekly benefit capping at $615 in 2016. The law has minimal financial impact on New Jersey workers, costing workers only $26 per year in payroll deductions.

Surprisingly, only 155,000 people have taken advantage of New Jersey’s paid family leave law between 2009 and 2015. Unfortunately, many workers and employers are simply unaware of this state benefit and often go weeks without pay to care for a new child or sick family member, which only increases the financial hardships for New Jersey’s most vulnerable workers.

We urge workers who are expecting children or have a sick family member to educate themselves about New Jersey’s paid family leave benefits. This benefit is paid directly from the state fund and is available to every worker in New Jersey regardless if they work at a large firm or a small “mom and pop shop” with just a few employees.

The experienced legal team at Thomas & Krail LLC is available to answer any questions about New Jersey family law. Contact Thomas & Krail LLC at (732) 333-0477 to schedule an appointment.