There are a number of different reasons that an employee may need to take some time off of work to be with their family during an unforeseen health emergency. Under the New Jersey Family Leave Act and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, an eligible employee can take a leave of absence in the event that they need to care for an immediate family member who has been diagnosed with a serious health condition.

In order to be considered eligible for the NJFLA or the FMLA, the employee must meet certain qualifications. For the New Jersey Family Leave Act, an employee must have worked for their employer for one year and at least 1,000 hours. In addition, the employer must be considered “covered” under the act. An employer is covered if they are a school, governmental agency, or a company that has a minimum of 50 employees for at least 20 weeks over the last two years.

The New Jersey Family Leave Act considers a serious health condition an injury, illness, impairment, or physical/mental condition that requires the person to seek inpatient care or frequent and continuous treatment or supervision. Though the law permits an employee to take time off to care for the family member, it does not require the employer to pay them for the time off. However, the employee is allowed to use some of their paid vacation or sick days if they have any available.

The New Jersey Family Leave Act also applies in situations where the employee or their spouse gave birth to a child or they adopted a child into the family. Each employee is eligible to take up to 12 weeks of leave over the course of a 1 year period.

If you have questions about your rights under the NJ Family Leave Act, speak with an experienced employment law attorney.