How Long Is Paternity & Maternity Leave In New Jersey?

Beware of simple answers to complicated questions such as “how long is maternity leave in New Jersey.”

The canned response of twelve weeks at the top of many online searches is misleading and incomplete.

First, you might be asking how long income support benefits last. The correct answer depends on your pregnancy experience and eligibility under two insurance programs.

Second, you could be asking how long legal job protections last, and the correct answer depends on your eligibility under federal and state laws.

Third, you might be asking how long income support and job protections last for fathers, where the rules work much differently.

How Long Is NJ Maternity Leave?

No correct response exists to how long maternity leave lasts for New Jersey mothers because two insurance programs and two laws address two vastly different components.

  1. Paid Time Off
    1. NJ Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI)
    1. NJ Paid Family Leave Insurance (PFLI)
  2. Job-Protected Time Off
    1. Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
    1. NJ Family Leave Act (FLA)

Paid Time Off

Paid maternity leave in New Jersey can last from zero to thirty-eight weeks, depending on whether the mother qualifies for TDI and PFLI and her experiences if she does.

Use our NJ maternity leave pay calculator to estimate your weekly and total benefits based on the below factors.


Paid maternity leave benefits last zero weeks for self-employed mothers in New Jersey unless they proactively purchased short-term disability insurance independently.

NJ parents who are self-employed or independent contractors (1099) do not pay into the TDI and FLI programs. Therefore, they are ineligible for benefits and cannot file a claim.

Purchasing short-term disability for the self-employed through a private insurance company before conception could alleviate this shortfall. The policy might cover pregnancy complications before birth and postpartum medical disorders.

Healthy Pregnancy

Paid maternity leave benefits in New Jersey last up to twenty-four weeks for mothers with healthy pregnancy experiences working for employers. But sometimes, the correct answer could be eighteen weeks.

  • TDI: 10 to 12 weeks for healthy experiences
    • 4 weeks before her due date
    • 6 weeks for vaginal birth
    • 8 weeks for C-section delivery
  • PFLI: 8 to 12 weeks for baby bonding
    • 8 weeks for intermittent leave
    • 12 weeks for continuous leave

Complicated Pregnancy

Paid maternity leave in New Jersey could last up to thirty-eight weeks when the mother experiences pregnancy complications. A doctor’s note explaining the medical reasons she cannot work could extend claim payments.

TDI benefits last up to twenty-six weeks if continuously disabled.

  • Pregnancy disability leave before your due date
  • Postpartum disorders delaying your return to work

PFLI baby bonding benefits last up to twelve weeks.

Job Protections

Maternity leave job protections in New Jersey can last zero, twelve, or twenty- weeks depending on whether the mother qualifies for FLA and FMLA and her experience if she does.

  • 0 Weeks: neither law applies
  • 12 Weeks: one rule applies
  • 24 Weeks: both laws apply
    • FMLA: mom’s pregnancy disability
      • Before due date
      • Recovery from childbirth
      • Postpartum disorders
    • FLA: baby bonding time


For instance, the correct answer to how long maternity leave job protections are for teachers in New Jersey could be zero, twelve, or twenty-four weeks because some educators have legal protections under one, two, or no laws.

  • Zero Weeks
    • Substitute teachers without enough hours
      • FMLA: 1,250 in twelve months
      • FLA: 1,000 in twelve months
    • Newly hired teachers employed less than twelve months
  • Twelve Weeks
    • Teachers in small private schools
      • FMLA covers all educators
      • FLA excludes schools with fewer than 30 employees
    • Substitute teachers working 1,000 to 1,249 hours (FLA only)
  • Twenty-Four Weeks
    • FMLA eligible teachers
    • FLA qualified educators

Small Business

Another example is mothers working for small businesses in New Jersey get zero weeks of legal job protection during maternity leave. Both FMLA and FLA cover employers with a minimum number of employees.

  • FMLA: employers with fifty or more employees within a 75-mile radius
  • FLA: employers with thirty or more employees internationally

Small business employees should consult their employee handbook to determine how long their maternity leave job protections last, given that FMLA and FLA do not apply.

River Commuters

In other instances, New Jersey residents commuting across the Hudson and Delaware rivers to work in other states have different answers to how many weeks of maternity leave they get.

FMLA is a federal regulation that applies uniformly across the country. However, FLA governs workers in The Garden State, not residents. Therefore you must reference the pertinent rules where you work, not where you live.

How Long is NJ Paternity Leave?

The answer to how long paternity leave lasts for New Jersey fathers is more straightforward because dads do not get pregnant and become disabled. Therefore the TDI program does not apply. Plus, FMLA and FLA do not run sequentially.

Paid Leave

Paid paternity leave in New Jersey can last from zero to twelve weeks, depending on whether the father qualifies for PFLI, the only program supporting benefits for dads.

  • Zero Weeks
    • Self-employed fathers not funding PFLI premiums
    • Men commuting across state lines to work in DE or PA
  • Twelve Weeks: dads paying PFLI premiums through payroll deductions

Short-term disability does not the care of cover family members. Therefore, fathers cannot purchase a policy to generate paternity leave pay.

Job-Protected Leave

Paternity leave job protections in New Jersey could be zero of twelve weeks, depending on whether the father is eligible for either FMLA or FLA.

  • Zero Weeks: fathers ineligible for FMLA or FLA because they work for small businesses, are self-employed, newly hired, or work part-time
  • Twelve Weeks: dads qualified under FMLA or FLA, which run concurrently for fathers because they do not become disabled