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What you need to know about the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Law

Effective 10/29/2018


Who is covered?

Any employee who works or lives in the state of New Jersey, which includes seasonal workers.  Employees who are a part of a CBA, per diem hospital healthcare workers, and public employees who are provided full pay for sick time are not covered. 

Accrual:

1 hour for every 30 hours worked with a maximum accrual of 40 hours per year. Accruals begin on 10/29/2018. 

If you already provide paid time off equal to or above the amount within the act, you do not need to provide additional time.  You must follow the eligibility, usage, and other areas outlined in this newsletter.

Use:

Active employees can begin using Paid Sick Leave on the 120th calendar after the 10/29/2018 effective date.  For new hires after 10/29/2018, they can begin using their time after 120 calendar days from the date of hire.
Sick and safe leave may be taken for the following reasons:
  • an employee's mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition, including the need for medical diagnosis, care, treatment, recovery, or preventative care;
  • for the same purposes when caring for a family member
(a “family member” is defined as “a child, grandchild, sibling, spouse, domestic partner, civil union partner, parent, or grandparent of an employee, or a spouse, domestic partner, or civil union partner of a parent or grandparent of the employee, or a sibling of a spouse, domestic partner, or civil union partner of the employee, or any other individual related by blood to the employee or whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship”)
  • the employee was a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or sexual contact, or is needed to provide certain care or assistance to a family member who was a victim of such conduct; and
  • to provide care for oneself or a family member in the event of:
    •  the employee's place of business has been closed due to a public health emergency
    • a child's school or place of care has been closed due to a public health emergency
    • the individual or a family member has a communicable disease that may jeopardize the health of others
Employers cannot task their employee to find coverage for their missed shift under this policy. 
Employers may allow employees to work flexible shifts or work additional hours so the employee does not have to use the accrued time. 

Paid Time:

An employee may use the accrued time to cover the scheduled shift that was missed.
For example: If an employee works 5 hours a day, they cannot request 8 hours of their accrued time.  They can replace the scheduled hours within that shift.

Required Documentation:

Employees must provide reasonable documentation orally, electronically, or written after 3 consecutive days are missed.  You must retain documents for 5 years including hours worked.

Carry Over:

Unless the company has a policy of paying out unused time, the employer must carryover the unused time to the next year.

Pay Out- Final Pay

Unless your internal written policies state that you pay out unused accrued time, you do not have to pay any unused time at termination or by year end.

Posting Requirements:

NJ DOL will provide mandatory postings that must be clearly posted in your worksite. Employees must receive written notice within 30 days of the effective act.  Statements about anti-retaliation must be posted as well.

Handbooks must include this policy including procedures for use. 

Administrative Action Items:
  • Educate your payroll staff on these changes and how to track them
  • Educate Managers on the law, employee rights, and how the company plans to handle administration
  • Review your current paid time off policies to incorporate the regulations for the Paid Sick and Safe leave.
     
If you have any questions regarding this new act, please feel free to contact Jeff Agranoff, Chief Human Resources Officer | Consulting Principal, at JAgranoff@grassicpas.com. 
 
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