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Sick Leave to Assist with Care for Family

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides workers job-protection and unpaid leave for specified family and medical reasons.

Federal Employees can use sick leave for family care and bereavement; annual up to 12 weeks (480 hours) for a family member with a serious health condition. 

Connecticut Service Workers can take paid sick leave to take care for sick family.

Rulings in several US cities provide paid sick leave for employees to take care for sick family.

Family Leave Insurance

Care of a seriously ill family member

  • 6 consecutive weeks, intermittent weeks or 42 intermittent days of wage replacement benefits during a 12 month period beginning with the first date of the family leave insurance claim, 
  • if you need time to take care for a seriously ill child, spouse, domestic partner or parent.
  • The child must be your biological or adopted child, foster child, stepchild, legal ward or the child of your domestic or civil union partner. The child must be less than 19 years old or if older than 19 years of age must be incapable of self care because of mental or physical impairment.
  • You must give your employer reasonable notice unless unforeseeable circumstances. If you claim intermittent benefits you must give your employer 15 days notice

Bonding with a newborn or newly adopted child

  • 6 weeks of benefits to bond only during the first 12 months after the child's birth
  • you have to be the biological parent of the child, or the adopted parent
  • your claim must be for a period of more than 7 consecutive days, unless your employer permits the leave taken in non-consecutive periods. In this case, each non-consecutive leave period must be at least 7 days.
  • you must give your employer 30 days notice before the leave starts, without a proper notice your benefits may be reduced by 14 days
  • Bonding documentation must be provided, e.g.: child's birth certificate, child's hospital discharge record, declaration of paternity, certificate of placement, independent adoption placement agreement.
Coverage in order to claim the benefit
  • Employees (full time or part time) of all private and governmental employers subject to the New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Law are covered, regardless of the number of employees in the business.
  • A claimant must have had at least 20 calendar weeks in covered New Jersey employment in which he/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.
File a claim

An application for State Plan or Family Leave During Unemployment benefits can be ordered or printed from Department of Labour and Workforce Development website or you can contact the Division of Temporary Disability Insurance to obtain an application.
The same application is used to file an Intermittent Family Leave claim. The Intermittent Family Leave Schedule, Part E, must be completed and it must be signed by an authorized employer representative.

Get an Application 

Telephone:  609-292-7060, Mail:  Division of Temporary Disability Insurance, PO Box 387, Trenton, NJ  08625-0387

Employer may require you to use other leave

Your employer may require that you, during a period of family leave, use up paid sick leave, paid vacation time or other leave at full pay. 

Benefit amount

The weekly benefit rate is calculated at two-thirds (2/3) of your average weekly wage up to the maximum amount payable. The average weekly wage is generally based on your earnings in the eight calendar weeks immediately prior the week in which your 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.
 

Costs of the family leave insurance

The family leave insurance program is financed 100% by worker payroll deductions. Starting January 1, 2014, each worker contributes 0.001 of the taxable wage base.  For 2014, the taxable wage base is the first $31,500 in covered wages earned during this calendar year, and the maximum yearly deduction for Family Leave Insurance is $31.50.  The taxable wage base changes each year. 

Family leave insurance and tax

Yes, the insurance is subject to federal income tax, but not subject to New Jersey state income tax.

Source and more info:

Department of Labor and Workforce Development New Jersey - Family Leave Insurance, frequently asked questions.

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