LGBTQ-Inclusive Paid Family Leave

No one should have to choose between the people they love and the job they need, and now in New Jersey, you won’t have to.

Last year, Governor Murphy signed landmark legislation to expand New Jersey’s paid family leave program with LGBTQ-inclusive protections!

The definition of "family member" has been expanded to respect all family structures, because there's no one-size-fits-all definition of family. Whether you're married or in a civil union — or not married at all — you can take time off to care for your partner, your closest loved ones, or your children.

New Jersey's updated paid family leave expands the definition of family for caregiving and provides benefits for survivors, and caretakers of individuals dealing with issues of domestic violence or sexual assault. Additional family members covered for caregiving leave are adult children, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, parents-in-laws, other blood relatives, and individuals whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship

Compared to the general population, LGBTQ people are much more likely to need to take time off to care for a loved one to whom they’re not legally or biologically tied, and under this new law, you can.

Share Your Story

With our partners at NJ Citizen Action and NJ Time to Care, we’re launching a public education campaign to let LGBTQ New Jerseyans know why this law is so critical to building a stronger, fairer New Jersey — and how they and their families will benefit. And you can help us spread the word by sharing your story!

If you or your family has ever needed to use paid family leave — or previously couldn’t or were afraid to — share your personal story with us!

Click here get started and share your story about LGBTQ-inclusive paid family leave.

About Paid Family Leave

Last updated January 21, 2020. For up-to-date information and more resources, please visit www.NJTimetoCare.com

New Jersey Family Leave Insurance (FLI) is paid family leave, available to employees in New Jersey when they need to take leave from work to bond with a new child (birth, foster or adopted), or care for a seriously ill family member (see definition below). New Jersey Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) is paid leave for one’s own non-work-related injury, illness, or other disability, including pregnancy

The FLI program provides workers with six weeks of partial paid leave over a 12-month period and TDI is available for up to 26 weeks in a 12-month period. The wage replacement of both programs is currently 2/3 of workers’ average weekly wage, up to a maximum weekly benefit of $650 for 2019 (adjusted annually).  New Jersey workers contribute a small fraction of their earnings to the FLI program (maximum contribution for 2019 is $27.52) and the TDI program (maximum contribution for 2019 is $58.48). Employers contribute a variable amount to just to the TDI program.

New Jersey's updated law to expand FLI & TDI will help make the programs more accessible and affordable for working families. Here are some of the things the bill does to improve the programs:

  • Increases the number of consecutive weeks for FLI from 6 to 12 and allows for intermittent use (less than one week increments) for bonding leaves. Available intermittent leave (for caregiving and bonding) will increase from 42 to 56 days. (effective July 1, 2020)
  • Increases the wage replacement rate for both FLI and TDI when related to pregnancy and childbirth, from 66.7% to 85% of a worker’s average weekly wage. (effective July 1, 2020)
  • Raises the maximum benefit for both FLI and TDI to approximately $860 starting July 1, 2020. This is an increase from 53% of the statewide average weekly wage to 70%.
  • You may have the explicit right to return to work when taking leave under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the NJ Family Leave Act (FLA). The FLA currently covers workers at businesses with 50 or more employees, this changes to include business with 30 or more employees on June 30, 2019.
  • Expands the definition of family for caregiving and provides benefits for survivors, and caretakers of individuals dealing with issues of domestic violence or sexual assault. Additional family members covered for caregiving leave are adult children, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, parents-in-laws, other blood relatives, and individuals whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship. (effective Feb. 19, 2019)
  • Gives employees the choice to use their own paid time off before accessing FLI. Under the current program, employers can require employees take up to two weeks of their paid time off before accessing the program (effective February 19, 2019)
  • Workers with more than one job can take leave from one job and receive FLI benefits while continuing to work their other. (effective July 1, 2020)
  • Removes the one week waiting period for family leave. And individuals returning to work on a reduced schedule can receive partial TDI benefits. (effective Feb. 19, 2019)
  • Includes additional protections so that employers may not retaliate against employees who request TDI or FLI benefits. Employers who fail to provide the DOLWD with information to process a claim causing a delay, may be required to additional penalties.  (effective February 19, 2019)