On September 13, 2016, the Morristown Town Council passed
Ordinance No. 35-2016, which will soon require all private
employers in Morristown to provide paid sick time to employees. The
ordinance goes into effect on October 4, 2016 for non-unionized
employees, and at the expiration of any collective bargaining
agreement currently in effect for unionized employees.
Coverage Of Morristown Ordinance
Much like similar ordinances adopted by twelve other New Jersey
municipalities, Morristown's ordinance will require private
employers with ten or more employees to provide 40 hours of paid
sick leave during a calendar year. Employers with nine or fewer
employees will only need to provide at least 24 hours of paid sick
leave during a calendar year.
However, if an employer operates in the areas of childcare, home
healthcare, or food service, it must provide up to 40 hours of paid
sick time per calendar year regardless of the number of employees
Accrual And Use Of Paid Sick Leave
Employees will accrue their paid sick leave at a rate of one
hour for every 30 hours worked. To qualify for the leave, employees
must work at least 80 hours in a calendar year for an employer
operating in Morristown.
Employees begin to accrue paid sick leave their first day of
employment, but cannot begin to use the time until after their 90th
day of employment. Employers may allow unused accrued leave to be
carried over from one calendar year to the next; however, employers
need not provide more than 40 hours of paid sick leave in any
calendar year. Also, employers do not need to pay out unused
accrued paid sick leave upon an employee's separation from
Employees may use the sick leave for either their own medical
condition or to care for a "Family Member" as defined in
the ordinance. Employers may request written confirmation that
employees used their paid sick leave for an authorized purpose
under the ordinance.
Also, employers may require employees provide reasonable
documentation that the leave was used for an authorized purpose
after paid sick leave is used for three consecutive days or three
consecutive instances. Employers, however, cannot require
information about the nature of the illness. Additionally,
employers cannot retaliate against or interfere with employees'
right to use paid sick leave.
Posting, Notice, And Recordkeeping Requirements
Like so many other laws in New Jersey, the Morristown paid sick
leave ordinance contains a notice, posting, and recordkeeping
requirements. Employers must provide written notice to each
employee about the rights provided by the ordinance. Employers also
must display a poster (in English and any language that is the
primary language of at least 10% of the workforce) containing the
same information in the notice in a conspicuous and accessible
Employers must also maintain records documenting hours and paid
sick leave utilized by employees. Failure to maintain adequate
records creates a rebuttable presumption that an employer violated
A full copy of the recently enacted ordinance can be found here. If your organization has any employees
in Morristown, you should ensure that your relevant policies (such
as sick time or paid time off and retaliation policies) are
reviewed by counsel to ensure compliance with the ordinance. You
should provide training to supervisors and managers on how they
should track the accrual and use of paid sick time, and also on how
they should handle requests for written confirmation on the use of
the paid sick leave.
Finally, you should begin preparing notices and postings in
English and any language that is the primary language of at least
10% of your workforce and be prepared to distribute and post them
when the law goes into effect. For many employers, the effective
date is rapidly approaching in just a few weeks, so you should act
diligently now to avoid problems later.
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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It is commonly understood that under the FMLA, an eligible employee of a covered employer is entitled to 12 workweeks of leave during a 12-month period for the birth of a child, the placement of a child for adoption or foster care, . . .
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