Murphy Signs Bill Expanding Family Leave in NJ

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -

New Jersey’s paid family leave is doubling from six to 12 weeks and increasing the amount people will bring home under a new law Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed Tuesday.

Murphy signed the bill at a library in Piscataway alongside legislative sponsors and advocates just a few weeks after the Legislature passed it over objections from businesses.

Under the new law, paid family leave is doubled from six to 12 weeks. The measure increases the amount of the benefit from two-thirds of pay to 85 percent, though it caps the amount. Recent estimates show a hike to $859 per week from $632.

It expands the definition of family from spouses, children, parents and parents-in-law to also include grandparents and grandchildren.

Businesses raised concerns that the bill adds a further burden to New Jersey’s employers and puts them at a competitive disadvantage compared with neighboring states.

“Our employers already have to compete with companies that do not have any paid family leave law to deal with,” said New Jersey Business and Industry Association executive Mike Wallace in a statement.

Murphy said the program is financed by what he called a “very small tax” and argued the measure will help families achieve financial security in the face of hardship.