We were joined by guests from the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers SMLR and the New Jersey Citizen Action Education Fund to learn about how paid time off intersects with community health and well-being – and worker health and safety – and where and when the NJ policies can be applied. Debra Lancaster from CWW summarized the body of research on the benefits of paid family and sick leave, including addressing gender and racial disparities as well as improving health outcomes and work-family balance. Yarrow Willman-Cole from NJ Citizen Action gave an overview of the overlapping web of job protections available at the national and state level and income replacement programs available at just the state level. They outlined current state and federal laws that make most employees in New Jersey eligible for Temporary Disability and Family Leave insurance (TDI/FLI), and discussed the positive impact these protections have for everyone, but especially for marginalized communities and women highlighting among other points:

  • Longer leaves among new mothers is associated with fewer depressive symptoms

  • When new fathers take paid leave, they are more likely to be engaged caretakers

  • Lower odds of infants being re-hospitalized when paid leave is available to parents

  • Decreased participation in public assistance among both men and women

New Jersey is just one of a handful of States that offers more than one pathway for workers to take paid time off to care for themselves or loved ones. The speakers proved a wealth of resources which can be accessed in the presentation here and via the links below that were shared in the chat. The CWW also invited participants to join their ongoing research to understand what barriers there may be to taking paid leave in NJ – for more information email: dlancaster@smlr.rutgers.edu.

Finally, the speakers invited attendees to learn more about and join the Time for Care Coalition to help promote access to paid leave for all.  More than 64 people atended this webinar.


“Paid Family Leave Ensures Health Equity for All”: https://www.changelabsolutions.org/product/paid-family-leave-ensures-health-equity-all

“COVID-19 Emergency Sick Leave Has Helped Flatten the Curve in the US”: https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/10.1377/hlthaff.2020.00863

“Pressure builds for companies to provide paid time off to get vaccinated”: https://tinyurl.com/3c6m8hkj