Sweeney: AARP Endorsement Shows Public Support For Paid Family Leave Legislation

TRENTON – Senator Steve Sweeney today thanked the leadership of the State American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) for their support of his Paid Family Leave legislation.

“I want to thank the AARP for supporting this very important piece of legislation,” said Senator Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem, who chairs the Senate Labor Committee. “When enacted, the bill will allow hard-working men and women throughout the State to take time off to attend to the health-care needs of their family members without the fear of being penalized by their employers.”

The legislation, S-2249, sponsored by Senators Sweeney and Barbara Buono, D-Middlesex , would authorize up to 10 weeks of paid Family Temporary Disability Leave (family leave) time per year for any insured employee who needs to take time off to care for a seriously ill family member or a newborn or newly adopted child.

Under the legislation, employers would be permitted to require employees to use up to two weeks of vacation time before being eligible for family leave. Employers would also have to post notification and provide workers a written copy of their rights under the bill?s provisions. Employees would be required to provide employers with prior notice and a doctor?s note outlining the need for and the estimated duration of the paid leave time.

If the legislation is enacted, workers would be required to contribute to the State Disability Fund 0.14% of their wages, in addition to any monies they already contribute. The money would be deposited into a fund reserved for funding for the Family Leave program, Senator Sweeney said.

“This endorsement from the AARP shows that the public is in support of Paid Family Leave legislation. I understand that people have to work to make ends meet, but they should also be able to take care of the physical health and well-being of their family members. At the end of the day, this legislation is about working to maintain strong families, and with the support of the AARP and other groups I am hoping that Paid Family Leave will soon become a reality here in New Jersey,” said Senator Sweeney.

The legislation is currently awaiting a vote by the full Senate.

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