FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Jersey will be Third State to Adopt Paid Family Leave
Victory for Working Families Especially Critical as Economy Struggles
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — April 7, 2008 — "Today the New Jersey legislature finished work on a paid family leave bill, handing a critically important victory to working families in the state. With Governor Jon Corzine committed to signing the bill, New Jersey will soon become the third state to adopt paid family leave. We expect others to follow.
As our economy struggles, it is especially important that lawmakers put in place these basic family-friendly policies to help working families avoid financial catastrophe when illness strikes or new babies come. Paid leave laws are also good for businesses, helping them retain the skilled workers they have trained.
New Jersey’s new law will expand the state’s temporary disability insurance program to give workers up to six weeks of family leave benefits to care for a sick family member or a newborn or newly adopted child. It provides temporary disability insurance benefits at two-thirds of wage replacement up to a maximum of $524 per week in 2008. It will be financed by a small employee payroll deduction.
The National Partnership for Women & Families congratulates all our partners, including the New Jersey Time to Care coalition (http://www.njtimetocare.rutgers.edu/), for this great victory. California passed a paid leave law in 2002 which took effect in 2004; it also provides six weeks of partial pay to workers who take family leave, and is funded through the state’s disability insurance program. Washington State passed a paid family leave law last May.
The New Jersey state senate took a significant step forward today. This is a good day for workers in New Jersey and the nation."
The National Partnership is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting access to quality health care, fairness in the workplace, and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.