By Karen S. White and Phyllis Salowe-Kaye
What to get Mom for Mother’s Day?

WALTRAUD GRUBITZSCH/AFP/Getty Images Babies are pictured in this file photo. The authors say paid family leave for new mothers in New Jersey strengthens families and businesses.
How about more time with her family? Isn’t that was she really wants? And how about family time without the demands and pressures of a job to interfere? Wouldn’t it be great if Mom could, say, spend six weeks of paid time off bonding with a new baby?
Here, in New Jersey, she already can.
The state, over the past four years, has created a tremendously successful family leave insurance program that provides paid time off for workers who are dealing with the most major of life’s events — the birth of a child, a sick relative, adoption.
New Jersey is only the second state to provide paid family leave, after California.
The program has been nothing short of a smashing success, providing more than 80,000 workers — four out of five of them women — with partial wage replacement for family leaves that average 5.2 weeks, according to Department of Labor and Workforce development statistics.
The act was the product of years of effort by advocates such as the New Jersey Time to Care coalition, which worked with lawmakers, national partners and union leaders to come up with a family leave insurance program that doesn’t cost employers a dime.


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