NJDOL Provides Guidance on Potential Compensation Benefits for COVID-19
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NJDOL Provides Guidance on Potential Compensation Benefits for COVID-19

Key Takeaways:

  • The New Jersey Department of Labor published guidance for employers clarifying benefits to employees impacted by COVID-19

  • Employees could be eligible for benefits under accrued earned sick leave, temporary disability insurance, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance benefits, partial unemployment insurance and family leave insurance

  • Eligibility for benefits is dependent on the circumstances

The New Jersey Department of Labor (DOL) has recently published guidance clarifying benefits available to employees in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Employers should be aware that, depending on the scenario, employees could be eligible for benefits under the following:

Accrued Earned Sick Leave

Employees may be able to use accrued sick leave under the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave law if they are:

  • Unable to work because they have tested positive for COVID-19, or have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Have been instructed to self-quarantine due to COVID-19
  • Are responsible for the care of a family member diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Are unable to work due to a workplace closure or the closure of their child’s school/place of care
  • Are out of work due to a pre-existing condition which their healthcare provider believes puts them at greater risk

Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI)

  • Employees who have exhausted their earned sick leave, and are still unable to return to work may be eligible for temporary disability insurance

Workers’ Compensation

  • Employees who contract the virus through a work related reason, for example, because he/she waited on or worked on someone who had the virus could be eligible for workers’ compensation

Unemployment Insurance Benefits (UI)

  • Employees whose workplaces voluntarily close (temporary or otherwise) may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits
  • Employees who are sent home due to the possibility that they have been exposed to COVID-19 may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits

Partial Unemployment Insurance (UI)

  • Employees who remain employed, but have had their hours reduced, could be eligible for partial unemployment insurance benefits if their hours have been reduced by 20 percent or more per week

Family Leave Insurance

  • Employees who are responsible for the care of a family member diagnosed with COVID-19 who have exhausted their earned sick leave may be eligible for Family Leave Insurance

In this rapidly evolving situation, employers should remain aware of what potential available benefits may be available to their employees who are impacted by COVID-19.

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