In 2019, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development asked the Heldrich Center to conduct a multi-year study of New Jersey’s Family Leave Insurance program (FLI), Earned Sick Leave law (ESL), and Temporary Disability Insurance program. The study was designed to provide information in two phases: first, about the public’s awareness and utilization of paid leave, and second, about the public’s awareness of and attitudes toward using ESL and FLI benefits. The Heldrich Center partnered with the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations’ Center for Women and Work and the Eagleton Institute of Politics Center for Public Interest Polling to support data collection and analysis.
This report presents the results from the second phase of the study focusing on the public’s awareness of and opinions toward using FLI and ESL. It is based on a statewide survey asking questions about New Jersey’s FLI program and ESL law in Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Fall 2021. The study period overlapped the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a policy-relevant time for understanding and using these leave programs in New Jersey, and having important implications for the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development to target its outreach plan to educate the public about these state programs. The authors of this report were Heldrich Center staff members Sean Simone, Ph.D., Director of Research and Evaluation; Jessica Starace, Research Associate; Marjory Palius, Ed.D., Research Project Manager; Kristine Joy Bacani, Research Project Assistant; and Brittney Donovan, Research Project Assistant.