Gov. Murphy signs bill expanding family leave in New Jersey

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PISCATAWAY -

Gov. Phil Murphy has signed into law a bill expanding the state's paid family leave program.

The governor signed the legislation Tuesday in Piscataway.

The bill doubles paid family leave from six to 12 weeks. Lawmakers estimate the average benefit under the new law would rise to $689 a week, from $540.

"More workers will have their jobs protected while they are out on leave because this law institutes strong protections against retaliation or discrimination by their employer for taking paid family leave," Murphy said.

RELATED: New Jersey’s paid family leave program may soon be expanded 

New Jersey is one of five states, along with the District of Columbia, with paid family leave. The other states are California, New York, Rhode Island and Washington, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Business groups oppose the legislation, saying it imposes a burdensome mandate.

The program is paid for through wage taxes. Legislative estimates show the new law would increase revenue by up to $364 million by 2022.

AP wire services helped contribute to this report.

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