Beginning on October 29, 2018 employees in New Jersey may earn up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year. A benefit year can be defined by the employer and cannot be changed without the approval of the Department of Labor. All New Jersey employers, except governments, are subject to this law. Employers who already have policies in place should confirm that they are in compliance with the new law.
There are few exceptions to the employees who are covered, but those working in construction under a collective bargaining agreement and per diem healthcare workers are excluded. This law covers full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees.
Employees working on October 29, 2018 begin accruals immediately; those hired after that date begin accruing sick leave on the first day of employment. For every 30 hours worked 1 hour of sick leave accrues. The leave can be used after 120 days of covered employment. When sick leave is used, employers are required to pay the employee at the same rate of pay and with the same benefits as the employee normally earns.
The leave can be used for, among other situations: the employee’s own medical condition, assistance with a family member’s medical care, and time needed to attend a school related conference or event for the employee’s child. Note, however, that if the need to use sick time is foreseeable, the employer may require advance notice of no more than one week. The employer can also choose the increments in which sick time can be used, but must not mandate more than the length of the employee’s normal work day.
At the end of the benefit year, up to 40 hours of unused leave may be carried over to the next year but employers are not prohibited from paying for unused sick leave at the employee’s normal rate of pay subject to the consent of the employee.
Employees and employers should be aware of their rights and obligations under this new law. For more information please use the link below or check in with us.