Under New Jersey’s Earned Sick Leave Law, which goes into effect on October 29, 2018, employees who perform work in New Jersey are entitled to accrue paid time off that can be used for the sick and safe purposes described by the law. Employers must either:
- Allow employees to accrue at least one (1) hour of paid sick leave per thirty (30) hours worked, or;
- Grant forty (40) hours of paid sick leave up front.
Employers are not required to permit employees to accrue or use more than 40 hours of earned sick time in any “benefit year”- a designated period of 12 consecutive months. Employers must allow carryover, but are not required to allow the carry-over of more than 40 hours of earned sick time from one benefit year to the next.
Notice of Employee Rights
Employers need to display the Notice of Employee Rights in a location visible to all their employees in New Jersey. The required notice may be posted by the employer electronically on an internet or intranet site that is used exclusively by employees and is accessible to all employees.
Employers must also distribute the notice to all new employees upon hire, and to all current employees by November 29, 2018. The notice can be distributed electronically, including via email.
Employers must also furnish a copy to the employee upon the employee’s request.
Uses of Paid Sick Leave
An employee in New Jersey may use paid sick leave for absences resulting from:
- Diagnosis, care, treatment of, or recovery from the employee’s mental or physical illness, injury or other adverse health condition, or for the employee’s preventive medical care;
- Time to aid or care for a family member in one of the situations described above;
- Time needed due to an employee’s or family member’s status as a victim of domestic or sexual violence;
- Closure of the workplace, school, or childcare facility issued by a public health authority due to a public health emergency; or
- A school-related conference or meeting.
Limitations on Paid Sick Leave
Employees begin accruing paid sick time on their first day of work (or the effective date of the law, whichever is later), but employers can limit employees’ ability to take their paid sick leave until the employee has been employed for 120 days.
An employer is not required to pay out accrued, unused paid sick time when an employee separates from employment with the employer. However, if you are providing paid sick time through your general PTO policy, you will need to pay out all of an employee’s accrued, unused PTO upon separation from employment.
New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Employer Resources
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.