Last week, New Jersey’s new mandatory sick leave policy went into effect. The garden state joins a host of other states enacting similar sick leave policies. We wrote about those recently in a blog article here. 

The law requires employers to provide accruable, paid sick leave to employees, to be used for specified illness and family-related reasons, and applies to all employers with employees working in the state.

All employees are covered, including full-time, part-time and seasonal workers. Employers may, however, disregard employees subject to a collective bargaining agreement.

The law requires that, at a minimum, employers:

  • Allow employees to accrue at least one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked; and
  • Allow employees to accrue at least 40 hours of sick leave per year.

How does the law work?

  • Employers can either make available all sick leave hours as of the first day of the year or require employees to accrue leave time as the year progresses.
  • Leave begins to accrue beginning October 29, 2018 (or, for employees hired after the effective date, on their date of employment).
  • Employers must allow employees to utilize accrued sick leave hours beginning 120 calendar days after their date of employment. Employers may agree to an earlier date.
  • The employer may require advance notice of time off, if possible, and reasonable documentation regarding the reason for the leave if the leave lasts three or more consecutive days.
  • At the end of the year, employers can pay employees for unused, accrued hours or allow employees to roll over their unused time.

What constitutes a permissible use of paid sick leave?

Paid sick leave can be taken for a variety of reasons, including to care for oneself or a sick family member, obtain preventive medical care, receive assistance for domestic or sexual violence, and attend school-related conferences and functions for the employee’s child.

For more information, check out this FAQ list from NJ.gov.

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Disclaimer: Please note that this is not all inclusive. Our guidance is designed only to give general information on the issues actually covered. It is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of all laws which may be applicable to your situation, treat exhaustively the subjects covered, provide legal advice, or render a legal opinion. Consult your own legal advisor regarding specific application of the information to your own plan.