New Jersey is one of only six states that offer certain employees paid family leave which is funded through payroll deductions.  On February 19, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that expands the benefits under the Paid Family Leave Law and Temporary Disability program in New Jersey.

First, as of June 30, 2019, the amended law expands the scope of employees eligible for family leave insurance to include employees who work for employers with 30 or more employees.  Prior to the new legislation, coverage was limited to employees of employers with 50 or more workers.

Second, the law expands the permissible reasons that an employee will be entitled to paid family leave insurance.  Under the new law, the definition of “family member” has been expanded to include grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, adult children, in-laws, domestic partners, and individuals having a close relationship with the employee that is the equivalent of a family relationship.  The amended law also permits coverage to bond with a child resulting from foster care placement, surrogacy, or through a gestational carrier agreement.  In addition, coverage is also provided to victims of domestic and sexual violence and to those caring for family members who are dealing with issues related to domestic or sexual assault.

Third, paid family leave has been increased from 6 weeks to 12 weeks beginning on July 1, 2020.  Intermittent leave will also increase from 42 to 56 days.

Fourth, the requisite waiting period before entitlement to family leave insurance payments begins has been eliminated.  Starting July 1, 2020, benefits will be payable to the employee on the first day of leave.  While employees may have the option to use either paid time off before using family leave benefits, employers can no longer require that employees use all of their paid leave before the payment of benefits.

Fifth, effective July 1, 2020, the weekly benefit to employees has been increased to 85% of an individual’s weekly wage, capped at 70% of the state’s average weekly wage so that eligible employees can receive up to a maximum payout of $860 per week.  Prior to this increase, employees were only entitled to receive two-thirds of their pay up to a maximum of $650 per week. This expanded benefit also increases the amount that all eligible employees will have to pay to fund the program.

Sixth and last, effective June 30, 2019, the amended law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who request and/or take paid family leave.  The law also prohibits employers from refusing to restore the employee to his or her job on the basis that the employees requested or took family leave benefits.  Employers who fail to provide notifications and disclosures will be subject to fines up to $1000 may be imprisoned for up to 90 days.  Employers who violate the anti-retaliation provisions will be subject to fines up to $2000 for first-time violations and thereafter $5000 for each violation.  The anti-retaliation provision and fines also imply to employees eligible for paid temporary disability leave.

Companies that employ between 30 and 50 employees should prepare to implement these changes.  If you require assistance regarding compliance with the New Jersey Paid Family Leave Insurance Law or have any questions regarding these changes, please contact Jennifer Myers Chalal at jchalal@lawsgr.com or (215) 241-8817.

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Spector Gadon & Rosen, P.C. Chairman Paul R. Rosen has announced that Executive Committee Member George M. Vinci, Jr. has joined him as Equity Shareholder and Director of the firm.  Celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, the firm has also unveiled a new name – Spector Gadon Rosen Vinci P.C. – as well as a bold, new brand (logo above) to advance its strong reputation for tenaciously pursuing successful claims and defenses on behalf of its clients.

“We’re not your typical law firm,” Rosen said. “We’ve earned a stellar reputation for taking on difficult, complex cases and have a track record of coming out with win after win on those cases.  George has been with our firm for 27 years and leads our largest divisions of the firm – Insurance Coverage & Casualty Litigation, and Professional Liability & Malpractice Litigation.  He’s a superb litigator who secures landmark verdicts with a natural ability in court that is astounding.  I felt it was important to show our future in the firm name.  And that future is with George.”

“This law firm is like my second family,” Vinci said.  “We are a highly respected team of dogged and diligent attorneys.  We maintain a high-quality practice that was built under the leadership of legal icons including Paul Rosen, a true national trailblazer of our profession.  I look forward to proudly working alongside him to continue to take a winning firm to even greater heights of success.”

In December 2018, Vinci secured a $100 million ($100,000,000) award against international accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP for its marketing of an abusive tax shelter.  He successfully argued the case, which had 40 witnesses and more than 600 exhibits, from the trial court level to the Kentucky Supreme Court.  As one of the highest verdicts ever obtained in that state, the precedent-setting ruling, which included an $80,000,000 punitive award, sent an important message.

Six months after joining the firm in 1992 as a 28-year-old associate, Vinci joined Rosen in the limelight for their work on a groundbreaking election fraud case which they won, removing William G. Stinson from the Senate without a re-election in the precedent-setting case of Marks v. Stinson in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  Coverage of the case aired on Court TV.

Vinci’s litigation experience involves cases throughout the United States.  He has successfully handled a wide variety of complex professional malpractice and business litigation matters on behalf of a wide variety of clients.

Vinci earned his J.D. from Temple University School of Law, cum laude, in 1988, and a B.A. from St. Joseph’s University in 1985.   He and his family reside in center city Philadelphia.

In Vinci’s early days at the firm, founder Steven Gadon predicted, “One day, this will be your firm.”  Now, with Vinci joining Rosen in an ownership position, the prophecy of the late Gadon has proved true.

In December, Spector Gadon Rosen Vinci P.C. announced a new presence in Atlanta, Ga., in addition to its offices in Philadelphia, Pa., Marlton, N.J., St. Petersburg, Fla. and New York, N.Y.

Spector Gadon Rosen Vinci P.C. represents business and commercial law clients nationally and internationally, serving entities, corporate boards and highly placed individuals engaged in multifaceted industries (including finance and banking, manufacturing, hospitality, gaming and entertainment, real estate and commercial development, insurance and venture capital) through a cadre of dedicated and highly skilled lawyers with a reputation for using unique strategies, and a proven success record with tough cases.  The firm’s practice groups include banking and financial services, bankruptcy and creditor rights, commercial litigation, corporate formation and governance, cyber risk and security, employment, entertainment and amusements, environment and energy, estates, trust and wealth management, healthcare, hospitality, insurance coverage and insured casualty litigation, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, professional liability, real estate, securities and sports, and tax law.

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