COVID Updates — Week of January 18

Using the NJ Family Leave Act instead of your PTO for care of your children

Trying to understand management’s insistence on using our earned sick leave to address COVID — related child care?

Here are some tips from Yarrow Willman-Cole, former URA member and an advocate at NJ Citizen Action, about entitlements that may help us:

Workers may also apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA for this same reason. Here are the recommended tips for how to apply for the expanded Unemployment Insurance, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA. 


1.Inform your employer in writing that you plan to apply for unemployment assistance for a PUA reason. Note: this is good practice but is not required by law. You can refer them to Updated Information for Employers & Businesses

2.To apply for PUA, you first apply for regular unemployment insurance benefits. Per federal rules you need to be found ineligible for traditional unemployment benefits, which means you need to apply and be denied, and then NJDOL will contact you and assess you for PUA. It could take several weeks to process your application.

3. Apply for Unemployment by following the COVID-19 certification guide.

You can see much of the above discussed on the NJ Department of Labor website. 

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, or FFCRA, mentioned in the website has expired and is not being granted by most employers currently. PUA was also set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020 but was extended 11 weeks into 2021 currently.