STATE: New Jersey
On May 2, 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act. (‘The Act’). The Act, which goes into effect on October 29, 2018, preempts all existing New Jersey municipal earned sick leave laws and allows employees to accrue 1 hour of sick leave time per 30 hours worked up to a maximum of 40 hours and can begin using the time after 120 days of employment.
Each employer shall provide earned sick leave to each employee working for the employer in the State. For every 30 hours worked, the employee shall accrue 1 hour of earned sick leave, except that an employer may provide an employee with the full complement of earned sick leave for a benefit year, as required, on the first day of each benefit year. An employer shall be in compliance with this if the employer offers paid time off, which is fully paid and shall include, but is not limited to personal days, vacation days, and sick days, and may be used for the purposes stated in the act in the manner provided by this act, and is accrued at a rate equal to or greater than the rate. No employee can accrue more than 40 hours of paid sick time. If the employee doesn’t use any time, the 40 hours can be carried over but additional time cannot be accrued.
Upon the mutual consent of the employee and employer, an employee may voluntarily choose to work additional hours or shifts during the same or following pay period, in lieu of hours or shifts missed, but shall not be required to work additional hours or shifts or use accrued earned sick leave. An employer may not require, as a condition of an employee’s using earned sick leave, that the employee search for or find a replacement worker to cover the hours during which the employee is using earned sick leave. An employer shall permit an employee to use the earned sick leave accrued pursuant to this act for any of the following:
- Time needed for diagnosis, care, or treatment of, or recovery from, an employee’s mental or physical illness, injury or other adverse health condition, or for preventive medical care for the employee; or
- 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 condition, or during preventive medical care for the family member; or
- Absence necessary due to circumstances resulting from the employee, or a family member of the employee, being a victim of domestic or sexual violence*, if the leave is to allow the employee to obtain for the employee or the family member: medical attention needed to recover from physical or psychological injury or disability caused by domestic or sexual violence; services from a designated domestic violence agency or other victim services organization; psychological or other counseling; relocation; or legal services, including obtaining a restraining order or preparing for, or participating in, any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to the domestic or sexual violence; or
- 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, by order of a public official due to an epidemic or other public health emergencies, or because of the issuance by a public health authority of a determination that the presence in the community of the employee, or a member of the employee’s family in need of care by the employee, would jeopardize the health of others; or
- 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 a school administrator, teacher, or other professional staff member responsible for the child’s education, or to attend a meeting regarding care provided to the child in connection with the child’s health conditions or disability.
Employers must provide notification of this regulation in a form issued by the DOL commissioner to employees and shall be posted in a place accessible to all employees. They must also provide a written copy of the notification at the time of hiring or 30 days after the DOL commission notification is issued. The form will be offered in English, Spanish, and other common languages in New Jersey. This law does not supersede a collective bargaining agreement.
* As defined in the ordinance.