On September 14, 2016, Morristown, New Jersey became New
Jersey's 13th municipality to require private employers to
provide paid sick time to employees.1 The Morristown
ordinance takes effect on October 4, 2016, leaving employers little
time to modify policies and ensure compliance.
The Morristown ordinance largely follows the language of
ordinances adopted by most other New Jersey municipalities with
paid sick leave laws. Therefore, employers with other New Jersey
locations may already be familiar with the requirements of the
Morristown ordinance. The ordinance requires that employers provide
employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year, to be
used in connection with either the employee's own medical
condition or to care for a family member, as defined in the
To qualify for this benefit, an employee must work at least 80
hours in a calendar year for a private entity that operates in
Morristown. The ordinance specifically excludes all government
employees, and members of construction unions who are covered by a
collective bargaining agreement. The Morristown ordinance applies
to all private employers, regardless of size, although employers
that employ fewer than 10 employees may cap paid sick leave at 24
hours per calendar year. However, child care, home health care, and
food service employees must be entitled to up to 40 hours of paid
sick time per calendar year, even if employed by a small employer.
Paid sick time is accrued at the rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours
The Morristown ordinance permits employers to request that an
employee confirm in writing that the paid sick time was used for a
purpose authorized under the ordinance. An employer may require an
employee to provide reasonable documentation that the time was used
for a covered purpose after an employee uses paid sick time for
three consecutive days or three consecutive instances. However, an
employer cannot require information about the nature of the
Like other New Jersey municipal paid sick leave laws, the
Morristown ordinance contains notice and posting requirements.
Employers must provide individual written notice to each employee
about his or her rights under the ordinance, and display a poster
containing notice of the ordinance in a conspicuous and accessible
place in each business establishment where employees are employed.
The notice and poster must be in English and any language that is
the primary language of at least 10% of the employer's
workforce. Additionally, the ordinance prohibits retaliation and
interference with an employee's right to use his or her paid
Due to the quickly approaching effective date, Morristown
employers, as well as multi-state and nationwide employers with
employees in Morristown, should review and revise sick leave
policies and procedures, as well as anti-retaliation policies, to
ensure they meet the ordinance's requirements. Additionally,
employers should obtain or prepare compliant notices and posters,
and ensure their timekeeping and payroll systems properly calculate
and track accrued and used sick time. Employers should consider
training supervisory and managerial employees, as well as human
resources, on the ordinance's requirements. Specifically, they
should be made aware of the restrictions on requesting
documentation and the possible restrictions on attendance policies
as they pertain to an employee's use of paid sick time.
1. Morristown joins Bloomfield, East Orange, Elizabeth,
Irvington, Jersey City, Montclair, Newark, New Brunswick, Paterson,
Passaic, Plainfield and Trenton, which have previously enacted paid
sick leave laws.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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