The Department of Labor & Workforce Development is inviting applications for the Cultivating Access, Rights, & Equity (CARE) Grant Program to increase New Jersey workers’ awareness of and equitable access to paid family and medical leave benefits, earned sick leave, and related rights.
This grant program focuses on workers who are less likely to have access to paid leave, such as low-wage workers, immigrants, refugees, veterans, and youth workers, and on reducing barriers related to race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation and gender identity that can impact workers’ knowledge of – and meaningful access to – the rights and benefits for which they are eligible.
The Grant Program seeks to establish collaborative relationships to:
- Increase New Jersey workers’ knowledge and understanding of the rights provided by New Jersey’s Earned Sick Leave law and related labor standards and Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits, through methods that are community-centered, culturally relevant and accessible, and language-specific;
- Build capacity among community organizations, service providers, and county and local government agencies to provide labor standards and Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits information and support to a diverse range of workers;
- Expand New Jersey workers’ exposure to resources that increase access to Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits for pregnancy, childbirth recovery, bonding with a new child, physical and/or mental illness or injury, including COVID-19, domestic and/or sexual violence, and/or caregiving for a loved one, including COVID-19-related caregiving;
- Develop effective outreach and educational materials on NJ Earned Sick Leave and Paid Family and Medical Leave;
- Make progress towards the distribution of NJDOL’s written materials in English, Spanish and any the language that is the primary language of 10 percent or more of the registered voters in the State to child care and elder care providers, domestic violence shelters, schools, hospitals, community health centers and other health care providers;
- Enhance collaboration between the NJDOL and the community organizations, service providers, and county and local government agencies that support New Jersey’s workers;
- Expand New Jersey workers’ access to resources that lead to enforcement, or other resolution, of labor standards violations; and
- Leverage the work of another state, county, and local agencies to promote labor standards outreach and education.
The Grant Program was developed with an equity framework to:
- Promote open and transparent communication between the NJDOL and partner organizations about progress, best practices, barriers, and lessons learned resulting from the Grant Program;
- Engage communities most impacted by workers’ rights violations and/or a lack of access to Paid Family and Medical Leave through culturally-anchored community spaces and language-specific and culturally-appropriate outreach and education;
- Support organizations and groups that are representative of and/or accountable to the communities most impacted by labor standards violations and/or a lack of access to Paid Family and Medical Leave, that have established or are developing feedback loops with impacted communities, and that are connected to a network of similar organizations and culturallyrelevant institutions and community service providers;
- Leverage outreach and education strategies likely to have the greatest impact on eliminating racial, social, economic, and gender inequities among workers, and encourage collaborative and creative approaches; and
- Establish community feedback loops in which the Department incorporates the perspectives of all workers when designing strategic outreach strategies and community partnerships.
- The total amount of funding available for the Grant Program is $1.1 million for the current fiscal year; $500,000 for NJ Earned Sick Leave funded by the State Disability Benefits Fund (SDBF), $300,000 for Temporary Disability Insurance is funded by the SDBF and $300,000 for Family Leave Insurance is funded by Family Leave Insurance Account within the SDBF.
- The total amount available is contingent upon the availability of funds.
- The length of the grant contract period is 12 months unless otherwise extended or reduced at the discretion of NJDOL.
- Workers have received educational materials created in conjunction with and approved by the NJDOL;
- Workers have been made aware of their Earned Sick Leave and related work rights, and/or eligibility for Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits, with methods that are community-based, language-specific, and/or otherwise accessible;
- Workers have taken meaningful action regarding their Earned Sick Leave and related work rights, and their eligibility for Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits;
- Service providers have increased their knowledge of Earned Sick Leave and related work rights, and/or eligibility for Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits and have integrated this education into their practice;
- The NJDOL gains a better understanding of the challenges and problems that workers face in accessing their rights and benefits, to inform future outreach and enforcement strategies, and program operations.
- The Grant Program is seeking proposals from eligible entities who demonstrate capacity, experience, and a history of success providing outreach, education, technical assistance, and/or support, including community-based organizations, service providers, worker centers, unions, legal services organizations, faith-based organizations, and county and local government agencies.
- In soliciting proposals, NJDOL shall not discriminate against any person or organization submitting a proposal pursuant to this grant because of ethnicity, color, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age disability, national origin, or other basis prohibited by law.
This grant is open to the following:
- Municipal Government entities
- County Government entities
- State Government entities
- State Recognized Tribal Governments with 501(c)(3) Status
- Public or Private Non-profit Organizations
- Faith-Based Organizations
- Applicants may apply as an individual organization or as a collaborative with a lead agency.
- For-profit and out-of-state organizations are not eligible for funding under this Notice of Grant Opportunity (NGO).
For more information, visit CARE.
For more information, visit https://www.nj.gov/labor/research-info/grants.shtml