June 2014, Sharon Lerner and Eileen Appelbaum
This study examines New Jersey employers’ experiences with employees who need time off to care for a seriously ill child or family member or to bond with a new baby since 2009, when the state began offering paid family leave through the statewide Family Leave Insurance (FLI) program. This program builds on the state’s Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) Program, which has been in place since 1948 and has covered maternity leave since 1970. Since 2009, New Jersey has provided benefits for more than 100,000 FLI leaves, the vast majority of which were used for the care of new babies. This study examines how this relatively new, statewide program has affected employers’ processes for administering and managing employee leaves. Does the program generate excessive paperwork, for instance, or burden employers in other ways? Is the program being abused, as some initially feared? And how, if at all, has it helped employers?