N.J. doubles paid family leave available to workers

Governor Phil Murphy signs sweeping legislation to expand paid family leave on February 19, 2019, in Piscataway. (Edwin J. Torres/Governor's Office)

Governor Phil Murphy signs sweeping legislation to expand paid family leave on February 19, 2019, in Piscataway. (Edwin J. Torres/Governor's Office)

New Jersey has expanded its paid family leave law to increase the time workers can take off from their jobs and make it easier for employees to care for sick loved ones.

The measure is the latest law signed by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy with an eye toward helping working families.

“Especially for that new mom and dad, we know that more time spent bonding with a child can lead to a better long-term outcome for that child,” Murphy said at a Tuesday press conference.

The new law, which expands upon the paid family leave legislation signed by former Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine in 2008, increases the amount of time a worker can take off annually from six weeks to 12 weeks.

It also allows workers to take time off to care for not only sick family members but also loved ones who are not blood relatives.

“There are many husbands and wives and daughters and sons who have not been able to have that opportunity to spend time with an ill family member,” said Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver.

The expansions will take effect on July 1, 2020.

Earlier this month Murphy signed a law that will gradually increase New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 for most workers by 2024.

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