Having a job enables us to pay our bills, care for our children, and more, which is why maintaining employment is one of the most important things we can do. However, there are times in life where the unexpected happens and people are forced to leave their job temporarily to deal with certain critical situations, such as recovering from a serious illness or medical condition. For this very reason, the federally-mandated FMLA, or Family Paid Medical Leave Act, gives certain qualifying employees the right to take the time they need to deal with the situation at hand without losing their jobs or facing retaliation. Though FLMA leave is unpaid, at the very least, it guarantees that certain individuals can return to their position after a certain period of time. That being said, in New Jersey, qualifying employees may also be entitled to leave under the New Jersey Family Leave Act, which gives certain employees the right to take time off for medical or family reasons, and, in certain situations, this leave is paid. Continue reading and contact The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. to learn more about FMLA leave and how a Gloucester County FMLA lawyer at our firm can help you.
Qualifying for FMLA
To start, you should first understand that there are certain qualifying situations that may warrant FMLA leave. Those situations include having a child and wishing to bond with the child, caring for a family member with a severe health condition, developing a serious health condition yourself, and more. You will also have to work for a qualifying employer to receive FMLA leave. Employers of companies that have over 50 employees for at least 20 weeks in the current or previous year are required to grant certain employees FMLA leave. If you are someone who has worked for a company for at least one year, and in the previous year you have worked at least 1,250 hours, and if you work for a company with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius, you should qualify for FMLA leave. If you are denied, you may need to speak with an FMLA lawyer to discuss your case.
How Long Am I Protected Under FMLA in New Jersey?
As a qualifying New Jersey employee, FMLA grants you the right to take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period, and this leave resets in the next 12-month period, meaning if another situation should arise after the initial 12-month period, you may take an additional 12 weeks of leave. That being said, in certain cases, if you are caring for a military service member in your family, you may take up to 26 weeks of leave, though this largely depends on the specific circumstances of your particular case. Though this leave is unpaid, you should keep your health insurance throughout the duration of your leave.
New Jersey Family Leave Act
As previously mentioned, certain qualifying employees are also entitled to leave under the NJFLA. Under the NJFLA, employers with at least 50 employees are required to grant their employees up to 12 weeks of leave in any 24-month period to either care for a qualifying family member with a serious health condition or to care for a newly born or newly adopted child. To qualify for this leave, you, the employee, must have worked for the company for at least one year and 1,000 hours in the last 12 months.
Furthermore, the NJFLA also covers certain qualifying employees who have been the victim of domestic abuse. As long as you have worked for 1,000 hours in the last 12 months for an employer with at least 25 employees, that employer is required, under the NJFLA, to provide you with up to 20 days of leave in a 12-month period. You can then use this time to obtain a restraining order, get yourself to safety, and resolve the matter.
Contact a New Jersey FMLA Lawyer
If you are a qualifying individual and you are entitled to leave under the FMLA or the NJFLA, though you believe your employer is wrongly denying your right to that leave, the attorneys at The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. are here to help. Contact our firm today to schedule your initial consultation with an experienced New Jersey FMLA lawyer.