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Which Family Members Are Eligible to Take Family Leave?

Securing time off for family leave is an important part of life.

Both the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFMLA) and the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provide that covered employers must grant eligible employees time off from work in connection with birth or adoption of a child or the serious illness of a parent, child or spouse.

Some of the provisions of these laws regarding eligibility include:

  • For the FMLA, the spouse, son, daughter and parents of the employee are considered to be immediate family members for purposes of taking leave.
  • Under the FMLA, a parent-in-law is not considered to be a parent, but under the NJFLA a parent-in-law is considered to be an immediate family member to whom the law applies.
  • For purposes of the FMLA, the term parent refers to a biological parent, or a person has or had the status of in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a son or daughter.
  • Under the NJFLA, a parent is a biological parent, adoptive parent, resource family parent, step-parent, parent-in-law or legal guardian, having a parent-child relationship with a child as defined by law, or having sole or joint legal or physical custody, care, guardianship or visitation with a child.
  • Under the FMLA, a son or daughter must be less than 18 years old, unless found to be incapable of self-care due to a mental or physical disability that limits one or more defined major life activities.

A skilled attorney can further explain the differences between the federal and state laws to you and can advise you of your rights under the laws.

Neil  H.  Deutsch Attorney Photo
Neil H. Deutsch

Neil H. Deutsch has been practicing law for over 35 years and is known as a skilled negotiator in employment and discrimination law. He believes in a bottom-line approach of risk analysis and cost effectiveness for his clients. "Case evaluation is something we take seriously," says Mr. Deutsch who seeks top net dollar for his…

Bruce  L.  Atkins Attorney Photo
Bruce L. Atkins
Senior Partner

Bruce L. Atkins is the Senior Managing Partner at Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt P.C., a prominent plaintiff employment law firm in the tri-state area. Mr. Atkins believes employees’ rights should be aggressively pursued when they’ve been wrongfully dealt with by their employers. He brings this philosophy to his practice when considering each case and its…

Adam  J.  Kleinfeldt Attorney Photo
Adam J. Kleinfeldt

Adam J. Kleinfeldt joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in March of 2015.  He primarily represents individuals in employment litigation such as discrimination, retaliation and whistle blowing matters. He has extensive experience in all phases of the litigation process. Adam has obtained significant results for his clients, including a $525,000 jury verdict in a sexual…

Debra M. McGarvey Attorney Photo
Debra M. McGarvey

Debra M. McGarvey joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in December 2019. She has extensive experience defending employees and employers in state and federal court in employment litigation matters. She has represented clients on various issues arising out of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), the…

Carly Skarbnik Meredith Attorney Photo
Carly Skarbnik Meredith

Carly Skarbnik Meredith, Esq. is a Partner at the firm. Carly has focused her career exclusively in the field of employment law. She has a plethora of experience representing both employees and employers with their employment issues, needs, and concerns. She believes representing both employees and employers has made her an extremely well-rounded client advocate.…


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