New Jersey Family Medical Leave Lawyers
The Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). The FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in any 12 month period for the birth of a child or a medical condition. But not every employee has the right to FMLA leave. First, only employers with more than 50 employees within a certain geographic area are required to give FMLA leave. Second, to qualify for leave, you must have worked for your employer for at least a year and have worked at least 1,250 hours during that year.
The New Jersey law, the Family Leave Act (“NJFLA”). The NJFLA is similar, but with a couple of important differences. Like the FMLA, the NJFLA grants 12 weeks of unpaid leave, but only once every two years as opposed to every year under the federal law. For example, if a mother has babies less than two years apart, she would not be entitled to leave the second time around. Like the FMLA, the NJFLA only applies to employers with more than 50 employees and requires that the employee have worked for the employer for at least a year before the leave begins. However, the NJFLA only requires that the employee have worked 1,000 hours in the last year rather than 1,250 under the federal law.
Another interesting difference between the FMLA and the NJFLA is that the NJFLA only applies to “family leave” and not “medical leave” as under the FMLA. But that means that an employee who has already used her 12 weeks of leave under FMLA for medical reasons, may still be entitled to an additional 12 weeks of leave under the NJFLA for the birth of a child.
What is the Protection. Under either law, the protection is essentially the same: your employer is required to return you to the either the same job or a comparable job after your leave is over.
How We Can Help. At Lawrence & Gerges we know the ins and outs of medical and family leave laws in New Jersey, and we are happy to discuss your rights with you at a free consultation at our Springfield, New Jersey Offices. If your employer is denying you leave, fires you for taking time off that should be protected, or fails to return you to a comparable position after your leave is over, you may have the right to sue for money damages.
At Lawrence & Gerges, we are trial lawyers with more than twenty years of experience in employment law. We can represent you all the way from investigation through settlement, or, if necessary trial. As always, if we believe you have a strong enough case, we will represent you on a contingent basis where you pay no money up front, and we only get paid if and when we recover money for you. (See Silvia’s blog, 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Pay a Lawyer in an Employment Case.)