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Paid family leave in New Jersey

New Jersey workers may not be aware that they are allowed to take paid leave to take care of sick family members or to care for new babies. The law, passed in 2009, allows people to take up to six weeks off from work while receiving two-thirds of their salary up to a weekly maximum of $615.

Reportedly, many companies are not letting their employees know about the family medical leave insurance program. The payments for the insurance are made by deductions from payroll. Employees who are signed up for the insurance pay around 50 cents each week up to a yearly maximum contribution amount of $26.08.

During the first five years of the law, 155,000 people took advantage of the leave. One issue is that the law does not protect the workers' jobs while they are on leave. In 2015, 30,000 people were paid around $85.8 million in benefits through the program. Any worker can take advantage of the insurance program, no matter how large the company for which they work. This is unlike the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, which applies to businesses having 50 or more employees. While FMLA provides unpaid leave, it does have job protection.

it is unlawful for companies to commit acts of retaliation, such as terminating an employee or failing to give a promotion or raise, when federal or state employee rights are being exercised. In the case of the Family and Medical Leave Act, enforcement is entrusted to the U.S. Department of Labor, unlike other claims that are handled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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