How Long Does Maternity Leave Last in New Jersey?

New Jersey employers are required to allow employees to take maternity leave and job-protected family and medical leave. Workers may also qualify for a partially paid maternity benefit program, known as Family Leave Insurance, which is funded by employer and employee contributions through payroll withholdings.

New Jersey employees can now take up to 12 weeks of paid family leave to bond with their new child. This is a great step toward equality for women and families. The law also requires employers to treat pregnant workers the same as non-pregnant workers. In addition, it prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender. New Jersey’s family leave insurance is funded through employee contributions. In 2024, the contribution rates are 0.09% of an employee’s first $156,800 in wages. Employers don’t have to contribute to the program, but they must deduct payroll taxes from employees. Employees can also choose to pay into an approved private plan.

Workers who are eligible for NJ PFL can use the benefits to care for their newborn or adopted child or for a seriously ill loved one. The benefits are 85% of an employee’s average weekly wage, capped at $1,025 per week in 2023. The program also covers short-term disability due to pregnancy and recovery from childbirth. Employees may use these benefits back-to-back, but they must wait 24 weeks in between uses.

How Long Does Maternity Leave Last in New Jersey?
How Long Does Maternity Leave Last in New Jersey? 1

NJ Maternity Leave Length

The answer to the question of how long maternity leave lasts in New Jersey depends on your pregnancy experience and eligibility for two insurance programs. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) require employers to provide job-protected leave for 12 weeks, during which the employee can continue to receive group health insurance benefits.

Both the FMLA and NJFLA provide eligible employees with cash benefits to bond with a newborn or adopted child or to care for a seriously ill relative. These benefits can be taken in one 12-week period or intermittently.

Pregnant women may also be entitled to temporary disability insurance benefits (TDI) to cover expenses related to their pregnancy and childbirth. The TDI program is funded through employee withholdings and employer contributions.

Regardless of whether you’re eligible for the FMLA or NJFLA, it is a good idea to save your vacation days and sick hours in advance so that you can accumulate at least a month’s worth of pay before you have to take your maternity or parental leave. This way, you can avoid taking a large chunk of your paid leave at once and start out with a full paycheck.

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