On May 2, 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the Paid Sick Leave Act into law. The Act will require virtually all employers to provide paid sick leave to employees, effective Oct. 29, 2018. Under the Act:
- All New Jersey employers must provide paid sick leave to their employees;
- Employees will accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year; and
- Employees must be paid for paid sick leave at the same rate (and with the same benefits) they normally earn.
What do employers need to do?
Employers should review their existing paid leave and attendance policies to determine if revisions must be made to comply with the Act. Employers should confirm that payroll systems can comply with the Act’s recordkeeping requirements, and monitor new developments, including the publication of model notices and regulations implementing the Act.
All employers in New Jersey must comply with the Act’s requirements. There is no exception for small employers. In addition, temporary staffing firms must comply with the Act, providing paid sick leave to employees based on the total number of hours worked through the temporary staffing firm.
An employer with a paid leave policy (including, for example, vacation, paid time off and sick leave) that is at least as favorable to employees as the Act’s requirements is not required to provide employees with additional paid sick leave. The employer’s policy must provide at least the same amount of paid leave and permit employees to use paid leave for the same purposes as required under the Act.
Accrual of Paid Sick Leave
Most employees working in New Jersey will be eligible for paid sick leave accrual and use. Employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per benefit year. The Act permits employees to use up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per benefit year for any of the following reasons:
- Preventive medical care for the employee
- Time needed for the employee to care for his or her family member during diagnosis, care, treatment or recovery from the family member’s mental or physical illness
- Time off needed due to the employee, or an employee’s family member, being a victim of domestic or sexual violence
- Time off when the employee cannot work due to the closure of the employee’s workplace or the closure of the employee’s child’s school
- Time off in connection with the employee’s child for the employee to attend a school-related conference, meeting, function or other event