South Jersey Medical Leave Lawyers
Family Medical Leave Benefits
New Jersey employees that are facing a crisis with a family member’s health, or a personal health issue of their own, have two options available that can help them manage the situation. The federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the New Jersey Leave Act (NJLA) provide employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to tend to the needs of a newborn child, a recently adopted child, or for an ill spouse, child, or parent. While the FMLA provides leave for an employee to tend to their own health issues, the NJLA does not provide that benefit; however, New Jersey employees can take advantage of both programs.
Employer and Employee Requirements for Family Leave
Employers who have over 50 employees within 75 miles of where the request for leave originates are required to grant medical and family leave to qualified employees. To be qualified, the employee must have worked for the employer for a period of 12 months prior to the request and have been active on the job for a minimum of 1,250 hours within that 12 month period. The 12 weeks of unpaid leave can be taken over a 12 month period for FMLA and over a 24 month period with NJLA. Federal and New Jersey leave is not compensated, but employers with a paid leave policy can continue full or partial salary if they desire. Employers are required to maintain the employee’s health benefits throughout the period of leave.
The employee requesting leave must do so within a reasonable amount of time prior to the beginning of the requested time off. The standard request is usually made 30 days in advance, but in emergent situations, that requirement can be reduced or eliminated. They must also provide the employer with an official document from a medical professional confirming the illness or condition requiring the employee’s attention. Qualifying conditions include illnesses that prevent the employee from performing their job duties, or that require the employee’s time to care for a newborn or ailing relative.
Using NJLA in Addition to FMLA
The NJLA does not provide leave for employees to tend to their own health issues. The NJLA does provide 12 weeks of unpaid leave over a 24 month period to tend to the needs of an ill spouse, child, parent, newborn, or newly adopted child. A New Jersey employee can use the NJLA in addition to the FMLA, essentially taking 24 weeks of unpaid leave that qualifies under the FMLA and NJLA.
When the employee returns to work following their leave, the employer must enable the employee to resume his or her previous job, or a position similar in duties and compensation. Failure to do so may be interpreted as retaliation against the employee. It is an employee’s legal right to request and take family leave, and an employer who refuses to grant leave, hold the employee’s position during the leave, or harasses an employee for requesting or taking leave is in violation of the law.
Cherry Hill Employment Law Firm of Sidney L. Gold & Associates Helps Clients take Advantage of Family and Medical Leave
If you or a close relative is facing a health crisis or are experiencing a significant change in your family situation, you may be entitled to take an unpaid, 12 week leave from your job to tend to your family. The FMLA and the NJLA were enacted to protect your job and health insurance in the event of a family crisis. The laws can be tough to navigate, but the experienced and knowledgeable South Jersey medical leave lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates can help ensure that your legal rights are protected.
Call the New Jersey NJLA lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates at 215-569-1999, or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are conveniently located in downtown Philadelphia and Pennsauken, NJ allowing us to serve clients throughout Philadelphia and New Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Camden County, Gloucester County, Burlington County, Cumberland County, and Atlantic County.