The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) provided for unpaid time off from work to care for sick relatives
or a newborn or adopted child, guaranteeing leave-takers’ jobs when they returned to work. Low-wage workers and single
parents, however, cannot fully benefit from the FMLA because it offers no replacement income. In families that depend
on women’s earnings to maintain living standards, unpaid time off from work threatens family finances that are already
strained by the costs of bearing and providing for a new child, or the costs of health care for a sick family member. To
ensure that those most in need of the protections of the FMLA can take advantage of the law, New Jersey is one among
several states considering legislation to provide Family-Leave Insurance (FLI): paid leave to care for newborn babies and
adopted children (BAA), and paid family-disability leave (FDL) to care for an ill child, spouse, or elderly parent.
This Research-in-Brief summarizes a research project conducted by Michele I. Naples and Meryl Frank that examined
proposals in New Jersey for paid family and medical leave programs. It discusses the policy context in which these
programs are being considered and details the technical considerations behind estimating the cost of providing family leave