NJ Businesses Take Note: Paid Sick Leave Is Now Mandatory for All Employees

Posted on May 15, 2019
NJ Businesses Take Note_ Paid Sick Leave Is Now Mandatory for All Employees

Since October 29, 2018, New Jersey requires all employers to provide paid sick leave to covered employees regardless of whether the employee is full-time, part-time, or seasonal and regardless of the size of the employer.

An employee who works for an employer located outside of NJ but who performs all of their work in NJ also is entitled to paid sick leave.

Employees are entitled to accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked up to 40 hours per year, regardless of whether those 30 hours are worked during a single workweek or over the course of multiple workweeks.

Employers have the option of having a policy that provides an employee with 40 hours at the beginning of each benefit year against which the employee uses the time off or an employer may use the accrual method to track each employee’s accrued leave.

If an employee resigns, retires, is terminated, or is otherwise separated from employment, the employer is not required to pay out unused sick time; however, an employee who remains with the employer at the end of the benefit year must either be paid for unused sick time by December 31 or must be allowed to carry over unused sick time up to 40 hours.

Here’s how paid sick time can be used:

  • Time needed for diagnosis, care, or treatment of an employee’s mental or physical illness, injury, or other adverse health condition, or for preventative medical care for the employee.
  • Time needed for the employee to aid or care for a family member of the employee during diagnosis, care or treatment of, or recovery from, the family member’s mental or physical illness, injury, or other adverse health conduction, or during preventative medical care for the family member.
  • Absence necessary due to circumstances resulting from the employee, or a family member of the employee, being the victim of domestic or sexual violence.
  • Time during which the employee is not able to work because of a closure of the employee’s workplace, or the school or place of care of a child of the employee, due to a public health emergency.
  • Time needed by the employee in connection with a child of the employee to attend a school related conference, meeting, function, or other event requested or required by the school, or to attend a meeting regarding care provided to the child in connection with the child’s condition or disability.

Retaliation by an employer for exercising or attempting to exercise their rights under this law is illegal.

Employers are also required to post notice of the right to paid sick leave in the same manner as other such employee rights must be posted. Further, employers must keep records documenting hours worked and sick time accrued/advanced, used, earned, paid out and carried over for five years.

For further information, go to https://nj.gov/labor/forms_pdfs/lwdhome/Legal/earnedsickleave.pdf

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