Can a claimant use Family Leave Insurance back-to-back with a Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) claim for pregnancy?
Yes. Claimants may apply for Family Leave Insurance benefits upon recovery from a pregnancy-related disability.
Can an employee opt out of the Family Leave insurance program?
No. Family Leave Insurance is a component of the New Jersey Temporary Disability Benefits Law. Coverage and employee contributions are mandatory.
Can employees receive Family Leave Insurance benefits if they work part time?
Yes. Employees working part time and suffering a wage loss due to family care or bonding leave may receive benefits provided all other eligibility requirements are met. Family Leave Insurance is a wage loss protection program that provides partial wage replacement regardless of whether a claimant is a full-time or part-time employee.
Can individuals who are unemployed file for Family Leave Insurance benefits?
Yes. If a claimant applies for Family Leave Insurance benefits more than 14 days after his or her last day of work, benefits may be payable under the provisions of the Family Leave Insurance Benefits During Unemployment Program. Individuals claiming benefits under this program must meet all the eligibility requirements of the Unemployment Compensation Law, but are not required to establish availability for work.
If eligible, benefits are paid for full weekly periods starting from Sunday through Saturday. There is no provision to pay for intermittent days under the Family Leave Insurance Benefits During Unemployment Program.
How is the weekly benefit amount for Family Leave Insurance payments determined?
The weekly benefit rate is calculated at two-thirds (2/3) of the claimant’s average weekly wage up to the maximum amount payable. The average weekly wage is generally based on the earnings in the eight calendar weeks immediately prior the week in which the leave begins. The total wages earned during all base weeks in the eight-week period are divided by the number of base weeks to obtain the average weekly wage.
Note: If the claimant received New Jersey Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) pregnancy disability benefits and then files a Family Leave Insurance claim to bond with a newborn child, the weekly benefit amount will be the same as the TDI weekly benefit amount. There is no new calculation of the weekly benefit amount provided the bonding claim immediately follows the TDI pregnancy claim.
Is a claimant required to take Family Leave Insurance benefits all at one time?
If the leave is to care for a seriously ill family member, the leave may be taken during one continuous period, up to a maximum of six (6) weeks or intermittently up to a 42 day maximum in a 12-month period.
If the leave is to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child, the leave must be taken during one continuous period of time unless both the employee and the employer have agreed to an intermittent leave schedule. In those cases, leave may be taken in non-continuous intermittent periods of seven (7) days or more. All leave taken to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child must be taken during the 12-month period immediately following the birth or adoption of the child.
Is there a waiting period before Family Leave Insurance benefits can be paid?
Yes. The first seven consecutive days of a claim is called the waiting period. If benefits are payable for any period during each of the three consecutive weeks following the waiting period, then benefits are also payable for the waiting period.
In the case of intermittent family leave, in a single period of family leave taken to provide care for a family member with a serious health condition, Family Leave Insurance benefits are payable with respect to the first day of leave taken after the waiting period and each subsequent day of leave during that period of family leave. If benefits become payable on any day after the first three weeks in which leave is taken, then benefits will also be payable for any leave taken during the waiting period.
Exception: There is no additional seven-day waiting period for a Family Leave Insurance claim for benefits to bond with a newborn when the Family Leave Insurance claim is for the period immediately following a Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) pregnancy-related claim.
Under what circumstances can an employee file for Family Leave Insurance benefits?
Beginning July 1, 2009, New Jersey law provides up to six (6) weeks of Family Leave Insurance benefits to covered individuals to:
- Bond with a child during the first 12 months after the child’s birth, if the covered individual or the domestic partner or civil union partner of the covered individual is a biological parent of the child, or the first 12 months after the placement of the child for adoption with the covered individual.
- Care for a family member with a serious health condition supported by a certification provided by a health care provider. Claims may be filed for six consecutive weeks, for intermittent weeks or for 42 intermittent days during a 12-month period beginning with the first date of the claim.
Family member means a child, spouse, domestic partner, civil union partner or parent of a covered individual. Child means a biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild or legal ward of a covered individual, child of a domestic partner of the covered individual, or child of a civil union partner of the covered individual, who is less than 19 years of age or is 19 years of age or older but incapable of self-care because of mental or physical impairment.
What are the minimum earnings required for an employee to be eligible for Family Leave Insurance Benefits?
In order to have a valid claim for Family Leave Insurance benefits, a claimant must have had at least twenty 20 calendar weeks in covered New Jersey employment in which he or she earned $145 or more (called "base weeks"), or have earned $7,300 or more in such employment during the "Base Year" period. The "Base Year" is the 52 weeks immediately before the week in which the family leave began. Only covered wages earned during the base year period can be used in determining a claim.
What is the difference between Family Leave Insurance and employee leave laws?
The Family Leave Insurance benefits program provides covered individuals Family Leave Insurance benefits, a monetary benefit, not a leave entitlement. The Family Leave Insurance benefits program does not establish the right of a covered individual to be restored to employment following a period of leave from work to participate in providing care for a family member who has a serious health condition or to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child. However, a covered individual’s job may be protected if the employer is subject to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA). The Life Events – Leave of Absence webpage on this website provides information on FMLA and NJFLA for university employees.
When can an individual claim Family Leave Insurance benefits to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child?
Family Leave Insurance benefits for bonding with a newborn or newly adopted child are only payable during the 12 months after the child’s birth or adoption.
When must a claimant submit a claim for Family Leave Insurance benefits?
A claim must be filed within 30 days after the commencement of a period of family leave. A penalty may be imposed if the claim is filed late.
Where can an individual obtain an application to claim Family Leave Insurance benefits?
Claim forms are available at the Get A Form page on this website.
Who is eligible for New Jersey Family Leave Insurance (FLI)?
Only faculty and staff are eligible for New Jersey Family Leave Insurance (FLI). Rutgers students and Teaching/Graduate Assistants are not eligible.
Who provides the funding for the Family Leave Insurance program?
Beginning January 1, 2009 employers were required to withhold from employees’ taxable wages as defined in the Unemployment Compensation Law. This is the same wage upon which the withholding for unemployment compensation and temporary disability insurance is based ($30,300 in 2012). Beginning January 1, 2012, the withholding rate is .08% Employers do not contribute to the program. Visit the website for the Division of Employer Accounts for information regarding the withholding and remitting of contributions.