Employment Law

Short-Term Disability vs. Family Medical Leave Act

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There comes a time when as an employee, you need some time off work. This could be when you develop some illness that requires medical attention for an unknown period. It may be that you’re in the late trimester of pregnancy hence a need to relax. Sometimes it could be an urgent need to take care of a family member who is not well.

All these situations trigger the need for leave. In New Jersey, there are two main types of leaves you may opt for. These are either the short-term disability (STD) or Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). There are specific situations that need one type over the other. Knowing how the two differ from each other is necessary.

Qualified Employees

Eligibility of STD insurance applied to a majority of employees. All you need is to meet the requirements of the specific insurance company regarding the plan. In most cases, the insurance firms look at aspects such as employee’s earnings, whereby they place a minimum on whoever can benefit. There is also a focus on the length of duration in the field. Most of the policies targets workers who work full-time. However, some companies are considerate enough to allow even the part-time workers to benefit.

When it comes to FMLA leave, not many workers qualify. You need to be personally eligible to use the leave, and your employer has to be FMLA-covered. Here’s the breakdown;

  • The employer needs to have 50 workers or more
  • You must have worked for a minimum of 12 months
  • You must have worked for 1250 hours or more within one year

New Jersey employment law gives you the right to sue your employer if they deny you the leave even after meeting all the thresholds. Some advocates can handle the legal matter for you. These New Jersey employment law attorneys guide your rights as a worker. They make you see how the denial of the time-off is unfair.

The Paperwork

The short-term disability needs proactive paperwork. It, therefore, implies that as a worker, you need to fill the application form before the time you want the leave. If you’re going to enjoy the STD benefits and have a claim, you need to fill the claims form. Both you and the doctor ought to fill the form and apply for the signatures.

On the other hand, the FMLA paperwork is reactive. It means that as an employee, you don’t need to complete any forms before using the leave. In most cases, filling in documents in advance can bring inconveniences, primarily when an emergency arises. Therefore, whenever a need arises, you need to fill the correct forms and require the doctor’s signing. What you’ll notice is that this type of leave is unpaid despite protecting your job status.

Taking a leave from work is often necessary, such as when medical concerns arise. In New Jersey, you can go for the short-term disability (STD) or Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). There are differences between the two; hence you can prefer one instead of the other. This depends on the nature of your employment. Finding an employment lawyer is necessary whenever you are denied leave despite being eligible.

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