NEW LAW: Important Changes To New Jersey SAFE Act

On February 19, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed A3975 into law.

In addition to modifying the New Jersey Family Leave Act and the New Jersey Paid Family Leave Insurance Program (see “NEW LAW: Important Changes To New Jersey Family Leave Act And The New Jersey Paid Family Leave Insurance Program”), this bill also modifies and greatly expands the employee leave protections under the New Jersey SAFE Act.

What Is The NJ SAFE Act?

Under the NJ SAFE Act, New Jersey employers with 25+ employees are required to grant eligible employees a 20-day leave of absence if the employee or the employee’s family member has been the victim of domestic violence or a sexually violent offense.

Under the amended version, there are several changes that took immediate effect:

  • Employees taking NJ SAFE Leave Act are eligible for NJFLI Benefits.
  • The definition of the following term has been expanded (the new language is indicated in italics):
    • “Family member” means the employee’s parent-in-law,   sibling,    grandparent,    grandchild, child,    parent, spouse,  domestic  partner,  or  civil  union  partner individual,  or  any other  individual  related  by  blood  to  the  employee,  and  any  other individual that  the  employee  shows  to  have  a close association with the employee which is the equivalent of a family relationship.
  • Employers may no longer require employees use their accrued paid time off for domestic violence leave.

It is recommended that employers prepare for these changes to the New Jersey SAFE Act and make any necessary policy revisions.