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Department of Labor & Workforce Development

COVID-19 Worker Benefits and Protections

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New Jersey has among the most comprehensive Temporary Disability, Family Leave Insurance, and Earned Sick Leave laws in the country, which cover all types of workers – full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal.

Federal laws that expanded Unemployment Insurance benefits to more workers expired September 4, 2021. Learn about extended benefits here.

Employers can be reimbursed for federal paid sick and childcare leave through tax credits, through September 30, 2021. This leave can be used to take time off related to COVID-19 vaccinations and side effects. Learn more here.

In addition, employees may be entitled to job-protected leave under the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) and/or the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Keep in mind:

  • Employers pay NJ Earned Sick Leave and may pay federal sick/childcare leave. Unemployment, Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance benefits require an application to the New Jersey Department of Labor. You cannot receive pay or benefits from more than one program/law at the same time.

  • The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights enforces the NJ Family Leave Act and U.S. Department of Labor enforces the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
    • See NJCivilRights.gov for more information about NJFLA or to file a complaint.
    • See DOL.gov for more information about the FMLA.
    • See IRS.gov for information on tax credits for employers that provide federal paid sick leave and childcare leave.

  • These laws and programs can be confusing. Please refer to the information below, and our FAQs to help understand your rights and use the program that best fits your situation – applying for the wrong program could cause delays.

  • Each state benefit or protection has its own eligibility criteria. Cases are examined on an individual basis, and eligibility is determined in accordance with the law.

Some employers have more generous policies than state and federal benefits and protections. Consider speaking with your employer about available alternatives such as paid time off, working remotely, taking a leave of absence, and other flexible work options.