Paid Sick Leave Continues to Gain Traction in New Jersey
Last week, Trenton and Montclair became the latest in a series of New Jersey municipalities to pass paid sick leave ordinances, joining East Orange, Irvington, Jersey City, Newark, Passaic and Paterson. Under both the Trenton and Montclair legislation, which are largely modeled after the measures previously adopted by Newark in January, employers with 10 or more workers must provide their employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick time accrued on an annual basis, with smaller employers only being required to offer up to 24 hours of paid sick time per year. Employees earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. However, irrespective of the employer’s size, child care, home health care and food service workers are entitled to the full 40 hours of paid benefits per year.
At the same time, the New Jersey Legislature continues to review proposed State-wide legislation designed to provide paid sick leave in a more uniform fashion. Under the current proposals (Assembly Bill A2354 and Senate Bill S785), New Jersey employees would accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a total of 40 hours of earned paid sick time annually for employers with less than 10 workers, and up to 72 hours per year for employers meeting or exceeding the 10 employee threshold. If employees do not use all of their accrued hours in a year, they would be permitted to carry them forward for an additional year. Employers would also be required to maintain detailed records concerning employees’ accrued paid sick time hours, and the legislation would clearly define when employees could be required to provide advance notice of sick time and/or documentation to their employers. Employers would further be prohibited from retaliating against any employees using their paid sick time.
Given the current trend of state and local governments enacting paid sick leave laws, now is the time for employers to consult with counsel to ensure that their handbooks, policies and practices comply with the recent, and anticipated, changes in the law.
As the law continues to evolve on these matters, please note that this article is current as of date and time of publication and may not reflect subsequent developments. The content and interpretation of the issues addressed herein is subject to change. Cole Schotz P.C. disclaims any and all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this publication to the fullest extent permitted by law. This is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Do not act or refrain from acting upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining legal, financial and tax advice. For further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your firm contact or to any of the attorneys listed in this publication.
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