New Jersey Bill Seeks to Increase Family Leave Insurance Benefits
On March 13, 2017, a bill that would increase both the duration and, for lower paid workers, the weekly amount of Family Leave Insurance (“FLI”) benefits was introduced in the New Jersey Senate and referred to the New Jersey Senate Labor Committee for review.
If passed, Senate Bill No. 3085 would increase the weekly amount of FLI benefits from 6 to 12 weeks per year. In cases of intermittent leave, the maximum amount of FLI benefits would be increased from 42 days to 84 days.
The bill would also increase the weekly amount of FLI benefits from two-thirds of a worker’s average weekly wage to 80 percent of his or her average weekly wage. However, the maximum weekly payment would still be capped at of 53 percent of the statewide average weekly wage for all workers. The effect of this change thus benefits lower paid workers who, under the current two-thirds limitation, are not eligible for the maximum weekly FLI benefit.
The changes would go into effect on July 1, 2018. Notably, because FLI benefits are funded exclusively by employee contributions, the bill would not require that any contributions be paid by employers.