News Department

NJDOL launches $1.1M grant program to increase awareness, access to worker benefits and protections

NEW JERSEY – The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) has released $1.1 million in available funding under the new Cultivating Access, Rights, and Equity (CARE) grant program.

The purpose of the CARE grant is to promote outreach, education, and access to New Jersey’s many generous benefits and protections for eligible workers, including paid family and medical leave benefits, earned sick leave, and other work rights.

“Thanks to the Murphy Administration and our legislators, New Jersey has some of the country’s strongest benefits and protections for workers, and these have proved especially critical during the pandemic,” Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said. “Now, our task is to make sure every worker knows their rights and has equal access to these vital support programs when they’re needed.”

The grant program seeks community-based partners that can help drive equitable access to these programs and work rights. The focus will be on workers who are less likely to have meaningful access to paid leave, such as low-wage workers, immigrants, refugees, veterans, and youth workers, and on disparities related to race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation and gender identity that can impact workers’ awareness of – and access to – the rights and benefits for which they are eligible.

Paid family and medical leave benefits, known in New Jersey as Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance, are available to eligible employees who stop working to care for their own or a loved one’s physical or mental-health condition; for pregnancy and childbirth recovery; to bond with a new child; or to cope with domestic or sexual violence.

The NJ Earned Sick Leave Law covers nearly all workers and requires employers to provide up to 40 hours per year of paid sick time so employees can care for themselves and loved ones, cope with domestic or sexual violence, or attend a meeting at their child’s school. Workers can also use their earned sick leave for COVID-19 testing, quarantine and vaccination.

Eligible grant applicants must demonstrate trust within their focus communities, capacity, experience, and a history of success providing outreach, education, technical assistance and/or support. Government entities, public and private nonprofit organizations, state-recognized tribal governments with 501(c)(3) status, and faith-based organizations may apply. Applicants can submit proposals as individual organizations or as a collaborative with a lead agency.

CARE grant awards are expected to range between $50,000 and $150,000, but NJDOL may consider applications above or below this range where appropriate justification is provided.

Key dates:

  • March 28: Noon is the deadline to pre-register for virtual technical assistance (TA) session (applicants strongly encouraged to attend one)
  • March 28, 5:30-7 pm and March 29, 10-11:30 am: TA sessions
  • April 1: Deadline to submit optional Letter of Intent
  • April 18: Application deadline

View the full Notice of Grant Opportunity here.

Learn about all grants available through the NJDOL at

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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