The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development (NJDOL) has issued guidance for employees on navigating coronavirus (COVID-19) issues using benefits already available statewide, which the NJDOL touts as “among the most comprehensive… in the country, [and] which cover all employees.” With numerous COVID-19 cases confirmed in New Jersey and surrounding areas, employers should carefully analyze requests for time off related to COVID-19. Because of New Jersey’s expansive laws, time off (sometimes with pay) is available in many circumstances when an employee has not tested positive for COVID-19.
Earned Sick Leave may be available when an employee is unable to work because the employee
Family Leave Insurance may be available to an employee who
Temporary Disability Insurance benefits may be available to an employee who
Workers’ Compensation benefits may be available when an employee
Unemployment Insurance benefits may be available to an employee
Employers also should keep federal legislation in mind. As of this writing, employers with fewer than 500 employees should be aware of a pending federal bill that would expand the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide leave for certain reasons related to COVID-19.
For our clients, we have formed a multidisciplinary Coronavirus COVID-19 Task Force to help guide you through the broad scope of legal issues brought on by this public health challenge. We also have launched a resource page to help keep you on top of developments as they unfold.
If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this LawFlash, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers:
 “Family Member” is defined broadly to include a child, grandchild, sibling, spouse, parent, grandparent, domestic or civil union partner, anyone related by blood to the employee, or anyone whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of family.