New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, D, has signed Assembly Bill 873, a measure that will provide 6 weeks of paid leave for workers who are caring for new babies, newly adopted children, or family members with health problems.
California and Washington state are the only other U.S. states that now have paid family leave programs.
The program created by A. 873 will include all private and government employees who participate in New Jersey’s unemployment insurance program, according to an Assembly Appropriations Committee staff analysis of the bill.
Starting Jan. 1, 2009, each New Jersey worker will pay $33 per year to a family leave insurance fund through payroll deductions, officials say.
Eligible workers can take paid family leave starting on July 1, 2009. The leave takers will get two-thirds of their usual pay, up to a maximum of $524 per week, officials say.
Workers will have to be off work for at least a week to collect the benefits, and employers can require that workers take up to 2 weeks of available sick pay or vacation pay before going on paid family leave.
Workers can take family leave in “increments” as well as in long blocks. The minimum increment will be 1 day, officials say.
Employers can choose to self-insure the paid family leave costs or get paid family leave insurance from a private insurer.
Employers will have no new, state-imposed legal obligation to take employees back once family leave time is over.