New Jersey Family Leave Act Lawyers
Protecting Workers’ Rights
Are you having a baby soon? Has your close family member fallen seriously ill? Some major life circumstances might require you to take a leave of absence from work. Luckily, New Jersey law, in addition to federal law, allows certain employees to take an extended break from their job with a guarantee they can come back to work.
If your employer is refusing to let you take unpaid leave, or has fired you for taking unpaid leave even though it was covered under the New Jersey Family Leave Act, speak with an employment attorney at Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C. Our superior legal staff upholds your legal rights in a variety of circumstances.
New Jersey Family Leave Act: the Basics
The New Jersey Family Leave Act (FLA), N.J.S.A. 34:11B-1, does not allow an employee to take leave for his or her own serious medical condition, but it may be taken for:
- The birth or adoption of a child, within a year after the birth or adoption placement.
- The serious health condition of a family member (child, parent, spouse or partner) of the employee.
If you have fallen seriously ill or become injured, you may be able to take leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
Frequently Asked Questions About The NJ FLA
Understanding NJ employment laws isn’t always easy. Our clients often do their own research, only to become even more confused. Here are a few basic answers to your common questions.
Am I covered under the New Jersey Family Leave Act?
The FLA applies to all public- and private-sector employers with 50 or more employees. The employees working at your company do not need to be all working at the same location, or even in New Jersey. An FLA-eligible employee is one who has worked 1,000 hours or more (including overtime) during the preceding 12 months.
For how long can I take family leave?
Family leave may be taken for up to 12 weeks within any 24-month period. The leave may be paid, unpaid or a combination of paid and unpaid.
What are you entitled to when you return to work?
During your period of absence, your employer is required to maintain your medical coverage. When you come back to work, you are entitled to your job back, or a similar position.
Can an employer require proof of eligibility as a condition of leave?
Yes, your employer might require you to provide a doctor’s note or other such documentation. Proof of certification or eligibility is up to your employer’s discretion.
What notice has to be given to the employer?
If you are taking leave for the birth or adoption of a child, you must give your employer 30 days-notice. If the leave is for a serious health condition of a parent, child or spouse, notice must be given 15 days in advance or as soon as possible. They may require you to give written notice.
What happens if my employer denies my leave?
If you believe you are covered under the NJ FLA, and your employer denies your request for leave – or fires you for taking leave – you may be entitled to compensation. First, contact a lawyer who can review your case. Your attorney may suggest taking your case down one of these two legal avenues:
- File a complaint with the NJ Division on Civil Rights. You must bring about a complaint within 180 days of the denial or leave or adverse employment action. The Division launches an investigation and your case will either be settled or you will need to attend a hearing.
- File a complaint with the NJ Superior Court. You need to file a complaint within 2 years of the adverse employment action. You cannot file a complaint with the Civil Rights office and the court system at the same time.
In other situations, retaining a highly qualified New Jersey employment attorney is imperative.
Call our New Jersey Family Leave Act Lawyers
Life happens – your job shouldn’t stand in the way of caring for your family. The NJ lawyers at Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman are family people. We understand the importance of putting your loved ones’ needs first. Call us today at (908) 561-5577 or contact us online for a free initial consultation if your rights have been violated.