Four 2023 New Jersey maternity leave laws provide three sets of benefits that work differently for many groups of new parents.
Paid time off replaces a portion of income. Job protections keep some new parents off the unemployment line, while health insurance continuation helps them stay covered when they need it most.
Each of the four relevant regulations has unique rules and qualifying criteria. Therefore, there is no single correct answer to how much you get and how long it lasts.
You must apply the laws to your situation to get a correct assessment for each of your three sets of legal rights.
How Much NJ Maternity Leave Pays
Two laws determine how much maternity leave pay a new parent who works in New Jersey might receive in 2023. The weekly benefit amount can range from $0 up to $993, depending on income range, and eligibility.
For starters, only parents who pay into the system qualify for NJ maternity leave payments. Therefore, your benefit level could be zero. A personal loan could help cover expenses during your unpaid time off if you fall into any of these categories.
- Federal government employees
- Self-employed or 1099 contractors
- Residents who commute to work in other states
- New York
NJ Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) determines the benefit amount available to women during leave due to pregnancy-related health conditions. Fathers are ineligible because they do not experience physical limitations.
- Medical complications related to pregnancy
- Four weeks before her due date
- Recovery from childbirth
- Postpartum medical problems
The maximum weekly benefit for pregnancy-related disability depends on your income while working. Two figures go into the equation. Pick the smaller of the two numbers.
- 85% of base earnings
- $993 weekly limit
The NJ Family Leave Insurance (FLI) program dictates how much money new parents receive for baby bonding time. In this instance, both mothers and fathers are eligible to enjoy wage replacement benefits while caring for an infant, adopted, or foster child.
The weekly benefit calculations for baby bonding time follow the TDI formula. You pick the smaller of two figures.
- 85% of base income
- $993 weekly maximum
How Long NJ Maternity Leave Lasts
You have to address two completely different sets of considerations when determining how long maternity leave lasts for new parents who work in New Jersey during 2023.
- How many weeks of income replacement benefits (up to 64)
- The length of unpaid legal job protections (up to 24)
- The right to return to the same job without retaliation
- Continuation of healthcare benefits as if working
Legal job and health insurance protections while on parental leave in New Jersey could last zero, twelve, or twenty-four weeks. The answer for each person depends on eligibility under two related laws, their gender, and experiences.
The two applicable laws have slightly different qualifying criteria.
NJ parents who work for non-covered employers and those who fail the individual criteria have zero weeks of job and insurance legal protections during maternity leave.
|Covered Employer||Eligible Employee|
|NJFLA||> 30 employees (effective 7/1/2020) |
Government entity of any size
|1,000 hours worked in the last 12 months|
|FMLA||> 50 employees working in a 75-mile radius |
|1,250 hours working in the last 12 months |
12 consecutive months with the same employer
Many mothers and fathers must rely on the generosity of their employer or fend for themselves. Hiring an attorney is unlikely to help if you lose your job and access to health insurance coverage during your time off, and you fall into any of these groups.
- Small business employees
- Self-employed workers
- 1099 independent contractors
- Part-timers who fail to log enough hours
- People who change jobs mid-year
Birth mothers who qualify under both laws (FMLA and NJFLA) can enjoy twenty-four weeks of legal job and health insurance protections while on maternity leave. The regulations have mutually exclusive criteria that allow women to stack two sets of twelve.
- FMLA allows for 12 for her disability
- Pregnancy complications
- Recovery from childbirth
- Postpartum disorders
- NJFLA allows an additional 12 because it does not cover an employee’s health condition
- Baby bonding
- Care of her sick infant
NJ workers can sometimes have twelve weeks of legal job and insurance safeguards during parental leave. The mid-range answer results when the person qualifies under one law or must apply the two concurrently.
- 30 to 49 employee ranges qualify under NJFLA only
- Some mid-size businesses
- Large businesses with smaller regional offices
- NJFLA and FMLA apply at the same time
- Fathers taking paternity time off
- Adoptive and foster parents
- Families using surrogate mothers
Paid Time Off
Paid maternity leave benefits in New Jersey can last between 22 and 38 weeks in total – and everything in between because moms have four possible valid reasons to file claims.
Also, the two programs (TDI and FLI) combine to determine how long benefits might continue for each scenario.
- Before Due Date (TDI)
- 4: if healthy
- Up to 26: with complications
- Childbirth Recovery (TDI)
- 6: vaginal delivery
- 8: C-section
- Baby Bonding (FLI)
- 12: mothers
- 12: fathers
- Postpartum Problems (TDI)
- 0: if healthy
- Up to 18: with complications
Typically, the maximum length is 38 weeks because the temporary disability plan stops making claim payments after six months (26 + 12 = 38). In other words, most women dealing with complications before and after birth will not be able to double-dip and extend the benefits further.
However, given the stakes, it does not hurt to try by filing a subsequent claim under a second reason. For example, the state might approve pre-eclampsia (26 weeks max) before delivery, followed by a later birth injury (second set of 26 weeks max).
Women with long-term policies do not have this concern. Their supplemental coverage through private companies takes the risk of running out of benefits off the table.
NJ parents who are self-employed or independent contractors (1099) do not pay into the TDI and FLI programs. Therefore, they are also ineligible for benefits while on maternity leave.
However, many mothers are aware of this limitation and purchase short-term disability insurance for the self-employed before conception. These policies provide partial income replacement benefits during the weeks when mom is unable to work for a covered medical condition.
- Pregnancy complications disability
- Up to 26 or more if necessary
- Recovery from childbirth
- 6: for vaginal delivery
- 8: for C-section
- Postpartum medical complications
- Additional 26 or more if needed
The length of paid paternity leave for NJ fathers is much shorter than for mothers because dads do not experience a disability. Therefore, only FLI applies during selected weeks off from work.
- 6: before July 1, 2020
- 12: after July 1, 2020
New fathers can tap into FLI wage benefits for three main reasons.
- Care for his sick wife experiencing pregnancy complications before birth
- Baby bonding time with a newborn, adopted, or foster child
- Care of twins born prematurely or spouse dealing with postpartum problems