New Jersey Passes Paid Sick Leave Bill in State Legislature

By Kelsey Basten

Published on April 30, 2018

The New Jersey state Senate passed the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act on April 12, 2018. Governor Phil Murphy has pledged to sign the bill once it reaches his desk.

The law requires employers of all sizes to provide employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave during an employer-established benefit year. It also preempts county and city paid sick leave ordinances that have passed. Currently, 13 cities in New Jersey have paid sick leave laws, including:

  • Bloomfield
  • East Orange
  • Elizabeth
  • Irvington
  • Jersey City
  • Montclair
  • Morristown
  • New Brunswick
  • Newark
  • Passaic
  • Paterson
  • Plainfield
  • Trenton

Employers must establish a benefit year of 12 consecutive months, during which employees may accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick leave at a rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Or, employers can provide employees with 40 hours of paid sick leave at the beginning of the benefit year

Also, per diem healthcare employees, construction workers employed in a collective bargaining agreement, and public employees who already have paid sick leave benefits are excluded from the law.

Employees may use the paid sick leave for the following reasons:

  • Diagnosis, care, treatment, or recovery for the employee’s own mental or physical condition (inclusive of preventive care)
  • Diagnosis, care, treatment, or recovery for a family member’s mental or physical condition (including preventive care)
  • The employee or employee’s family member is a victim of domestic or sexual violence (including counseling, legal services, or participation in any civil or criminal proceedings related to same)
  • The workplace, school, or childcare is closed by order of a public official due to a public health concern
  • Time to attend a school-related conference or meeting

Furthermore, if the employee uses three or more consecutive paid sick leave days, the employer may request documentation to confirm the employee used the leave for a situation approved by the law.

Employers must maintain records documenting the hours worked and earned sick leave used by employees. They must also keep these records for five years, and they must be made available for inspection upon request by the Department of Labor (DOL) and Workforce Development.

A notification must be posted in the workplace, and employers must issue notice to each employee within 30 days after the DOL issues the notification. The notification must be provided to employees upon hiring as well.

The law will take effect 180 days after the governor signs it into law.

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