As previously reported in the July 2012 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority, several pending bills (A2919 and S2177) would require employers to provide unpaid leave to employees who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault, or who need leave to care for certain others who are victims of such abuse. Both of these bills, known as the “NJ SAFE Act,” were amended in October. The bills would now limit eligibility to employees who have been employed for at least 12 months (for not less than 1,000 base hours during the prior 12-month period), would require any intermittent leave to be in intervals of no less than one day, and would cap annual leave at 20 days. Further, both bills now agree that an employee could take leave to assist only the employee’s child, parent, spouse or civil union partner who is also a victim of such abuse (rather than the broader “family or household member”). The bills also now clarify that leave would be in addition to leave under federal Family and Medical Leave Act and New Jersey Family Leave Act, and that an employee’s sole remedy for a violation of the proposed law would be via a private cause of action.
Note: This article was published in the December 2012 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.