All the 50 states in the U.S. grant employees the right to go on a job-protected leave to care for their family members. This could be anyone from a child or a spouse to a parent-in-law. Unfortunately, some employers deny them these rights or retaliate by terminating their jobs.
If you are a victim of such an employer, you should contact an experienced lawyer for representation. Schedule a consultation or call our New Jersey employment law attorneys to protect your rights. Here is what you need to know about the family leave act in New Jersey:
What is the family leave act?
New Jersey’s family leave act entitles employees who qualify to a maximum of 12 weeks of family leave in a period of 24 months without the fear of losing their jobs. This is usually to:
- Bond with a foster adopted or a newborn child
- Take care of a severely ill spouse, child, or parent
- For the employees own severe medical condition
The family leave act also applies when you are pregnant. Under the new provisions, the definition of a family member is now broadened from the child, spouse, and domestic partner to include a grandparent, sibling, blood relative, or grandchild. It could also be any other individual with a close association with the employee. Intermittent leave for the adoption or birth of a child is now mandatory, while it was optional to the employers before the new provisions.
Who is eligible for the family leave?
It is not every employee who can apply and receive family leave. The following conditions must be met:
- Employers should have 50 or more employees unless it is a government entity.
- The employee has worked for not less than one year with at least 1000 hours during the last 12 months.
- The leave of absence is for the purposes of one of the reasons mentioned above. That is, to care for a family member or bond with a newborn, adopted, or foster child.
The employee must provide 15 days or more notice for intermittent leave, 30 days or more for consecutive bonding leave, and a notice in a reasonable manner to care for a family member who is suffering from a severe medical condition. This is allowed because there are some emergencies that do not allow the employee to give notice before the leave. However, it must be done a soon as possible.
Employers also require their workers to provide a certification from a recognized health provider indicating that a family member is suffering from a severe health condition. The dates of a newborn, foster care child and adopted child must also be provided for the employer to verify eligibility.
Working with an employment attorney
Working with an employment attorney is essential if you are facing challenges from your employer. This could be a case where employers refuse to restore workers after the paid family leave or breaches the act by not granting them their time off. Call our offices at 973-354-2931 if you are one of these victims.