New Jersey appears to be on track to join California and Washington as one of 3 states with a law establishing a paid family leave program.
The bill creating the program, Assembly bill 873, would expand the state’s existing temporary disability insurance program. The expanded program would provide 6 weeks of paid leave for workers at businesses of all sizes who are caring for a baby, a newly adopted child, or a child, spouse, domestic partner, civil union partner or parent who is suffering from a serious health condition, according to the bill text.
Members of the New Jersey Assembly voted 46-30 to approve A. 873, and members of the state Senate voted 21-15 in favor of the bill.
The bill was introduced by state Sen. Nelson Albano, D-Vineland, N.J.
At press time, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine had not yet signed the bill, but he has been a strong supporter of paid family leave proposals. “Earning a living and caring for a loved one should not be an either/or decision,” Corzine said in a statement welcoming the passage of A. 873.
According to an Assembly Appropriations staff analysis of A. 873, the paid leave program created by the bill would:
–Apply to all private and government employees who participate in the state’s unemployment insurance program.
–Require each affected worker to contribute $33 per year to a new family leave insurance fund starting Jan. 1, 2009.
–Permit workers to file claims starting July 1, 2009.