NJ Family Leave Act Expanded to COVID-19 Retroactively

The New Jersey Family Leave Act (“Act”) now protects and encompasses employees who take a leave of absence from their employment because of reasons related to COVID-19 or other epidemic. This expansion of the Act became effective retroactively as of March 25, 2020. The Act applies to businesses with at least 30 employees. It allows up to 12 weeks of leave over a 24 month period and requires reinstatement of the employee when the leave terminates. These protections now apply to an employee who ceases working in order to provide care necessitated by a state of emergency declared by governmental authority or created by governmental action that results in at least one of the following:

  1. In-home care or treatment of a child becomes necessary because of school closure or closure of a place that cared for the child based on an order of a public official due to an epidemic or public health emergency
  2. A determination by a public health authority that preventive measures are necessary due to illness from an epidemic of a communicable disease or known or suspected exposure to the disease, because the presence in the community of the family member in need of care by the employee would compromise the health and well- being of others; or
  3. A healthcare provider or public health authority recommends that a family member in need of care by the employee voluntarily self-quarantine because of suspected exposure to a communicable disease and the presence in the community of the family member in need of care would jeopardize the health of others.

An employee may be on paid leave for 10 days under the newly enacted federal Emergency Sick Leave Act and also be entitled to an additional 12 weeks leave under the expanded New Jersey Family Leave Act. (That is, the leave periods of the two laws do not run concurrently).

As always, we are available to assist you. If you would like more information regarding this COVID-19 Guidance, Tax Relief, or Grant and Loan Relief, contact our COVID-19 Recovery team at 201-562-1002.