How to Take Family Leave Under the New Jersey Family Leave Act (FLA)

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Jennifer Norton Weil

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Bankruptcy Attorney - Hoboken, NJ

Contributor Level 10

Posted about 6 years ago. Applies to New Jersey, 16 helpful votes

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1

Decide whether the FLA applies

The NJ Family Leave Act applies to employers who employ 50 or more employees for 20 or more weeks in the current or preceding year. The Act also applies to the State of New Jersey as an employer. Affected employers must post "conspicuous notice" of employees' rights and obligations under the FLA.

2

Decide whether you have a proper reason for taking FLA leave

Employees can only take the leave for the birth or adoption of a child or to care for a family member, spouse, or civil union partner with a serious health condition - not for the employee's own health condition. Leave for an employee's own serious health condition would be covered under the separate and distinct rules of the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

3

Determine how much FLA leave you may take

Eligible employees may take 12 weeks of paid or unpaid FLA leave within any 24-month period. It is up to the employer to choose exactly how to count the 24-month period.

4

Notify your employer

Under the FLA, the employee must provide the employer with reasonable advance notice of the intention to take FLA leave.

5

If requested, provide certification to your employer

An employer can require "certification" of the health condition or of the birth or adoption of a child. The certification must come from a health care provider. Health insurance that the employee had before the FLA leave is to remain in effect during the leave.

6

Return to work

Upon their return to work, employees who take FLA leave are entitled to either: 1) Have their old job back upon their return to work; or 2) Have another job that is equivalent to their old job in seniority, benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment. An employee would not be entitled to get their job back if they would've been let go anyway during a reduction in force or layoff.

7

Watch for retaliation from your employer

There is an anti-retaliation provision in the FLA, meaning that it is illegal for an employer to fire someone or otherwise discriminate against them for opposing a practice that would be illegal under the FLA.

Additional Resources

New Jersey Office of the Attorney General

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