As summer draws to an end, take some time to update your Employee Handbooks to ensure compliance with New Jersey’s ever-changing employment law landscape. Recent changes to New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination, Family Leave Act, Security And Financial Empowerment Act, and Family Leave Insurance Benefits law are in effect. Some of these changes include, but are not limited to:
- The Family Leave Act now covers employers with 30 or more employees;
- The definition of “family member” has been broadened, enabling employees to take time off to care for siblings, parents-in-law, grandparents, grandchildren, etc.;
- The amount of time off for which an employee may be eligible for Family Leave Insurance benefits has been increased;
- Employers can no longer require that employees use up to 2 weeks of employer-provided paid time off during family leave;
- Paid time-off benefits are available for absences related to domestic violence and sexual violence;
- The law has been expanded to include a comprehensive “anti-retaliation” provision that prevents employers from discriminating or retaliating against employees who request or take leave and collect Temporary Disability Insurance benefits of Family Leave Insurance benefits. It also gives employees the right to sue when an employer discharges, harasses, or engages in other conduct that interferes with an employee’s leave or request to take leave. Damages can include attorneys’ fees, monetary damages, mandatory reinstatement, etc.