Department of Labor & Workforce Development

Worker Benefits, Protections and the Coronavirus (COVID-19): What NJ Workers Should Know

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

In addition, employees can’t be fired for taking time off to test, quarantine or isolate, with a medical note recommending that the employee take that time off because the employee has, or is likely to have, an infectious disease that may infect others at the employee’s worksite. Employers must also follow COVID-19 workplace health and safety requirements.

There are also federal laws that expand Unemployment Insurance benefits to more workers and reimburse employers for federal paid sick and childcare leave through a tax credit. This leave can now 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. DOL 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, our printable guides, FAQs, and our eligibility tool 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.

Many 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.

Printable guides outlining COVID-19–related benefits for NJ employees
chart in English

Information in English

Please note: our benefits chart covers paid leave and cash benefits. For information on job protection, review this webpage and see our eligibility tool.

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chart in Spanish

Información en español

Tenga en cuenta: Nuestra tabla de beneficios cubre la licencia pagada y los beneficios en efectivo. Para obtener información sobre la protección laboral, revise esta página web y consulte nuestra herramienta de elegibilidad.

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Additional information and resources