New Jersey Bill Aims To Count Time Missed Due To A State Of Emergency In Determining Eligibility For Certain Leave Benefits

On September 30, 2013, a bill (S2996) was introduced seeking to expand eligibility for state leave and disability benefits for employees who have been laid off or furloughed due to a declared state of emergency. First, the bill would allow up to 90 days of an employee’s time missed to count for purposes of determining eligibility for leave under the New Jersey Family Leave Act and the New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act (both of which require at least 1,000 hours worked during the preceding year). Next, the bill would allow up to 13 weeks of such absences to count as “base weeks” for determining eligibility for temporary disability and family leave insurance benefits (both of which have an eligibility requirement of 20 “base weeks” with pay each week at least 20 times the minimum wage, or having earned a total of 1,000 times the minimum wage over the preceding year).

Note: This article was published in the November, 2013 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.