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NJ Paid Family Leave Act New Jersey

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  • NJ Paid Family Leave Act New Jersey

    I just had a baby last Friday. (June 26)

    In 2008, a NJ law was passed to provide up to 6 weeks paid family leave to employees. Payroll deductions started January 1, 2009, and the benefit is legally required as of July 1, 2009. It is to care for a sick family member or bond with a new child. It is an insurance policy that we as employees pay for, just like our state disability plan.

    Each employer has the option to buy into the state plan or provide a private plan that is the same benefit or better. This was all legally required to be in place for July 1. My employer, our township, just opts into the state plan. It's easiest that way. My husband works for the our county. They were trying to make their own private plan that pretty much screwed the employees. It would take half their vacation and sick time for the next year if they chose to use the family leave. The state denied this, because it's not the same benefit as the state plan. The whole purpose of this law is so that employees do not have to use vacation or sick time to bond; it's an insurance policy. The county tried to devise another plan, which was also denied.

    However, all these plan were submitted to the state the last week of June. Nothing like procrastination, right? So the county just found out yesterday (July 2) that their second plan was also denied. So they are opting into the state plan. However, since it is past the legal cutoff date and payments have already begun to be processed, the county needs to wait until August 1 to enroll. My husband and I have planned his leave since 2008 based on the NJ law that was supposed to go into effect on July 1. Mine is fine; it will kick in automatically after my disability. However, husband now needs to use vacation days for July 1, 2, and 3. And he'll probably need to go back to work on Monday. There is also something called a waiting week that should be over for him already, because of the time he's taken off for the baby so far. However, since the county isn't enrolled, he'll need to do another waiting week. Which means one more week of vacation or sick time he needs to use, or he takes a week that goes unpaid for about a month. He doesn't have much time off accrued because he is a fairly new employee. And we really can't afford to lose a week's pay because I'm already behind on disability payments, and it isn't my full salary anyway.

    So my husband may have to wait until after January 1, when he gets new vacation and sick time, to use his family leave. Even though paperwork has already been filed (for a plan that was denied), it's been planned like this for months, and the county was legally required to have things in place by July 1. Our county employees are being penalized because the county couldn't get off their butts for so many months.

    Do we have any recourse to get vacation days back or anything? Or are we pretty much screwed? At this point it looks like he's going back to work on Monday because we don't have time or money to fight this, because we just found out about it yesterday, when the plan was denied.

  • #2
    Here's a link with questions & answers on the NJ Family Leave Ins. (Pd. Fam. Leave) eff. 7-1-09. It also has contact information - you might want to contact a listed agency for assistance & questions you might have. Some one else may come along & have additional suggestions/information for you.
    Congrats on the baby.

    http://lwd.state.nj.us/labor/fli/content/fli_faq.html
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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    • #3
      I might mention though it is in the link: The Family Leave Insurance program does not protect anyone's job. The program provides partial wage replacement when an employee cannot work because of the need to care for a child, parent, spouse, or domestic partner, or to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child. Some employees may have their job protected under other laws, such as the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA).
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you. I have read that page over and over though, and nothing addresses this situation.

        We know he is eligible for the paid family leave. We also know that his job is protected under FLMA, and that these are 2 separate things. (Protection vs payment)

        However, we do not know what the repercussions are since his employer did not follow the law in having their private plan set up on time, or opting into the state plan on time. So now something we've planned for all year is screwing us over. And he doesn't have a month's worth of paid time off to carry him through August when he will be eligible, thanks to his employer's screw up.

        Looks like he'll be back to work next week. And me being a week post c-section will be lifting, climbing, and caring for 2 kids by myself when I'm not supposed to. Lovely.

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        • #5
          Your husband might contact the Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development or the Private Plan Compliance Sect. (contact info under link above) & put in a "complaint" - see what they have to say about the situation.
          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

          Comment


          • #6
            When a new law is passed, and effective four days ago is unquestionably new, there are always going to be situations that do not fit the norm and which the sponsors of the law either did not see coming or chose not to address. Because of this, it's not always going to be possible to find an answer to all possible situations when the law first becomes effective. It's likely that at this point, no one knows the answer and the DOL is going to have to make a decision.
            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

            Comment


            • #7
              Agree. That was the only suggestion I could think of - contact the agcy. that oversees the NJ FLI program - Dept of Labor & Workforce Development/Private Plan Compliance Sect.

              Good luck.
              Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

              Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

              Comment

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