New Jersey has two programs that can help make the transition into pregnancy, birth, lactation and bonding a little easier and most employees in New Jersey are eligible!
- Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) provides cash benefits for expectant mothers and birthing parents when they need to stop working before giving birth, and while recovering afterward.
- Family Leave Insurance (FLI) provides cash benefits after the recovery period so new mothers and birthing parents can bond with their babies during the first year. It also is available for the father or non-birthing parent to use anytime after the baby is born, before they turn one.
Taking paid family leave has been shown to increase the initiation and duration of breastfeeding!
In addition, your job may be protected under state and federal job protection laws. Learn more about how these programs and laws work together here and further below. (Haga clic aquí para español.)
For more information on New Jersey’s cash benefits visit the NJ Department of Labor website: https://nj.gov/labor/myleavebenefits/
Do you need help or have questions about taking paid leave, temporary disability or earned sick days for your family’s needs in New Jersey? Make an appointment to speak to a counselor from the New Jersey Time to Care Coalition here: www.njtimetocare.com/getsupport
Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) provides up to 26 weeks of partial wages (85% of worker’s average wage up to $993/week in 2022 and $1,025/week in 2023) to recover from one’s own disability or illness, including a pregnancy-related disability. For pregnancy, TDI benefits are usually payable up to 4 weeks before the expected date of delivery, and 6 weeks after giving birth (8 weeks for a Cesarean delivery). If your medical provider certifies that complications exist before and after delivery, benefits may be payable for a longer period.
Family Leave Insurance (FLI) provides up to 12 weeks of partial wages (85% of worker’s average wage up to $993/week in 2022 and $1,025/week in 2023) to bond with a new baby (both parents) or to care for a loved one with a serious illness. New parents do not need to take their leave all at once. Family Leave Insurance to bond may be taken in one consecutive 12-week period, or 56 intermittent days,depending on your needs. FLI is also available to care for a seriously ill family member.
New Jersey’s Maternity Coverage Timeline Tool can help you estimate dates when each benefit starts and ends.
Eligibility: To be eligible for these two paid leave programs, you must be an employee and work in New Jersey, and for 2022, you must have worked at least 20 weeks earning at least $240 weekly, OR $12,000 in the base year period before taking leave. For 2023 you must have worked at least 20 weeks earning at least $260 weekly, OR $13,000 in the base year period before taking leave.
To apply: You can create an account and apply for Temporary Disability benefits here. You can apply for Family Leave benefits here.
If your employer retaliates against you for taking or seeking to take Temporary Disability or Family Leave Insurance benefits, you have the right to take private legal action. For more information visit this page.
Accommodations for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding at Work
New Jersey workers are entitled to pregnancy and breastfeeding protections, including reasonable accommodations from employers. These laws are enforced by the Division on Civil Rights and you can learn more here and on the NJ Breastfeeding Coalition’s webpage here.
New Jersey Family Leave Insurance is not the same as the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) program. FMLA provides job protection.You will not use up your paid Family Leave Insurance benefit or FLI while taking leave for your own serious medical condition under the FMLA. However you may be eligible to collect TDI for your own health (see above).
New Jersey also has a state job protection law, NJ Family Leave Act (NJFLA). The NJ Division on Civil Rights (DCR) is responsible for enforcing the NJFLA. If you believe that you have been unlawfully denied NJFLA leave or retaliated against because you exercised or attempted to exercise the right to take leave, please call DCR at (973) 648-2700 or (609) 292-4605. A complaint should be filed with DCR within 180 days of the denial of leave or other adverse employment action.
For job protections for the mother or birthing parent, you may potentially be entitled to take up to 12 weeks of FMLA job protected leave for pregnancy/recovery, and then 12 weeks of NJFLA job protected leave to bond with a new child (or care for a seriously ill family member).. For more on this interaction view this fact sheet.
See more on paid benefit programs and job protection laws below.