Tuesday, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law legislation that will greatly expand paid family leave in New Jersey, doubling the amount of paid time possible for workers. The bill was heavily supported by Democrats in the legislature who have been focused on increasing protections for working families.
This bill, NJ S2528 (18R), includes paid family leave for both caring for new infants as well as sick family members. The bill increases the time period for this from six weeks to twelve weeks, and also increases weekly compensation from 67 percent to 85 percent.
New Jersey is one of the few states with paid sick and family leave, unlike the unpaid national standard. Senate President Steve Sweeny noted that “Paid leave can ease financial burdens and provide peace of mind for working families at critical times in their lives.” The governor’s office noted that unpaid time off is a significant barrier for low income and middle-class constituents.
Proponents of the law are hopeful that this will set an example for other states to do the same, in order to serve the middle class and low-income worker and families.
Media: Politico 2019; North Jersey 2019; PoliticoPro 2019