The Latest Update for New Jersey Small Businesses: New Family Leave Takes Effect

Date: July 01, 2020

State-specific information


NJ Unemployment Extended

Unemployed workers will be eligible for an additional 20 weeks of unemployment benefits, the N.J. Labor Department announced July 1. Until now, workers maxed out at 39 weeks.

The state extension kicks in after claimants exhaust up to 26 weeks of state unemployment plus 13 weeks of federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.   The additional 20 weeks of benefits brings to 59 the maximum number of weeks an eligible claimant may receive in benefits at this time.

Workers will be automatically enrolled into extended benefits as their federal extension ends. They do not need to contact an agent or reapply for benefits.

Gig workers, independent contractors and the self-employed, who were eligible for 39 weeks of federal benefits, will not get the full extension. They will receive seven additional weeks from the state for a total of 46 weeks.

Family Leave Extended July 1

Family Leave expanded under a law signed by Governor Murphy in 2019. Starting July 1 eligible workers can collect 85% of their weekly pay, up to $881, for 12 weeks. That’s up from six weeks of benefits equal to two-thirds of their pay, capped at $650 a week. That means instead of receiving a maximum of $3,900 over six weeks, applicants will be eligible for as much as $10,572 over 12 weeks.

The new formula for calculating benefits and $881 cap also apply to the temporary disability program, which acts like state-run short-term disability for New Jersey workers who cannot work because of an illness, injury, pregnancy or some other disability that is not work-related. Family leave insurance, meanwhile, pays benefits to new parents taking time off work to bond with a child or to a worker who is caring for a family member.

Per employee, for the two programs combined, 2019′s payroll deduction was capped at $86, but this year someone might kick in as much as $567 from their paychecks.

The employer contribution to temporary disability did not increase to pay for the program changes.


Governor Murphy Postpones July 2 Date for Indoor Dining at Restaurants

The governor has decided that upticks in COVID-19 cases and other information about younger people more frequently testing positive for the virus are the reasons why he is postponing the planned July 2 reopening of indoor dining. No future date has been set.   


Governor Murphy Announces What is Next on the Agenda as Personal Care Businesses Reopen

On Monday June 22, salons, barber shops, nail salons, spas, tanning salons, hair braiding shops, and tattoo parlors were able to reopen.  

The Governor announced that beginning Thursday, July 2, Indoor dining at restaurants may occur at 25% of capacity and Casinos may open at 25% capacity He says additional health and safety guidelines will soon be issued to address those future reopenings.

6/13  New Guidance for Salons and Barber Shops, and More on NJ Reopening

Here is the newly released state guidance government guidance:

Salons barber shops, makeup shops, and spas may open beginning June 22 under new standards that were summarized by Gov. Murphy on Friday 6/12. 

Tanning and tattoo rules will be announced Saturday but they can open on June 22. 

Guidance will be released soon, but the Governor summarized the new salon/barber restrictions as:

  • Services by appointment only
  • Prescreening and temperature checks for staff and clients
  • Clients and staff members must remain six feet apart unless separated by some sort of barrier
  • Everyone must wear a face covering at all time unless a client is receiving a treatment that requires the mask’s removal. Should that happen, staff providing services should utilize a face shield, goggles or table shield.

Strict sanitation regulations will be applied, Murphy added. Capacity regulations have not yet been set.

We will post the guidance when it is issued by the state.


Governor Phil Murphy announced at a news conference on June 9, 2020 that he is allowing for immediate indoor gatherings at 25% of a buildings capacity, or 50 people – whichever is lower.  

Indoor gatherings will increase to up to 250 on June 22 and 500 July 6

There is still not word about when restaurants will be allowed to have indoor dining. 

He has said nail salons can open in June 22.

Click on this link to view the Executive Order on public gatherings:

And here is a link to information on the reopening of swimming pools:

 Daycare and Summer Camps Set to Reopen

Gov Phil Murphy announced that on June 15 at 6 a.m. daycare and summer camps in the state may reopen under certain health guidelines. Details of this latest Executive Order can be found by clicking here.

The Governor says as businesses reopen this will support the workforce with expanded access to child care services with appropriate safeguards for children and staff. He added youth camps provide a necessary alternative to child care. He says overnight camps cannot open at this time because social distancing would be difficult.

Child care centers and day camps must submit an attestation to their state regulatory agency no later than 24 hours prior to opening to assure that the business will follow all applicable health and safety standards, as detailed in the COVID-19 Child Care and Youth Summer Camp Standards


NJ Pledges $50 Million to Support Small Businesses

Governor Murphy announced he will make $50 million available to small businesses using money received from the federal CARES Act.  The Governor’s Office has not released the details on how small businesses can apply or when the program will launch. 

Unemployment Update

As of May 14, New Jersey’s unemployment payments reached $2.78 billion.  The number of initial claims filed since mid-March approached over 1.1 million, with more that 725,00 collecting state and federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits.  Data shows workers in casinos, retail, food service, restaurants and airlines were hit the hardest by the pandemic.

Over 140,000 self-employed workers, independent contractors’ claimants were recently made eligible for PUA.

DOL has begun notifying workers who have exhausted their state unemployment benefits of a 13-week extension they may be eligible for under the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.

Legislature sends Small Hospitality Business Loan Program to Governor

On May 14 both the Senate and the Assembly passed a bill providing interest free loans to small hospitality businesses impacted by the pandemic. The business would have to make less than $2 million in annual revenue if they have been in operation for more than 12 months, or less than $1 million in annual revenue if they have only been in operation between 6-12 months.  The loan would be interest-free with payments deferred for the first 9 months after the start date.  The program would be run by the Economic Development Authority.   The funds would come from the CARES Act money allocated to New Jersey.   The bill is on the Governor’s desk.

This Week Announcements by Governor Murphy:

Responsible & Strategic Restart of NJ’s Economy

Elective Surgeries Resuming

EO Allows Certain Outdoor Businesses to Open

Charter Fishing Reopens


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