Greenwald, DeAngelo Legislation Improving Disability Leave Program Advances
Two bills sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald and Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo revising laws concerning temporary disability leave continued to advance in the Assembly on Monday with approval by the Assembly Budget Committee. One measure, A-2762 (Greenwald) , states that when a covered individual applies for temporary disability benefits for disability resulting from pregnancy or the birth of a child, the plan administering the covered individual's benefits must automatically process an application for that individual to its paid family leave benefits program, unless the individual opts out of that program. The application for benefits shall be processed to allow the family leave benefits, if approved, to begin immediately following the end of the temporary disability benefits, unless the individual notifies the plan he or she would like to postpone or opt out of the family leave program. The other measure, A-2764 (Greenwald, DeAngelo) , requires the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development to design and make available to the public on the department's website a webinar, or some other form of digital media, that provides information on a covered employee's rights and obligations, including how a covered employee may apply for benefits and what documents are required for such an application. Under the bill, the Commissioner is required to publicize the availability of the webinar to employers in the state and to promote it as a tool for employers to provide employees with information regarding these laws. "The last thing a mother should have to worry about during a pregnancy or after childbirth, especially one that resulted in a disability, is the stress of filing for multiple benefit programs," said Greenwald (D-Camden, Burlington). "These pieces of legislation allow for the consolidation of the filing process as well as easily-accessible tools and information for family leave benefit applications, which will ultimately save time and worry for new mothers." "The process of learning about, as well as applying to, the family leave program can be a strenuous one," said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "Many people may not know where to look for instruction on which benefits to apply for and how to do so. The goal of this bill is to provide an easy-to-follow, well-informed webinar for New Jerseyans so they are able to obtain the benefits they need with minimal to no issues."