United States: New Jersey Adopts A Statewide Paid Sick Leave Act

On May 2, 2018, the governor signed into law the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act, which the New Jersey Legislature passed on April 12. The Act will become effective Oct. 29, 2018, and once effective, the Act will pre-empt any sick leave laws passed by cities and towns in New Jersey.

Under the Act, employees will accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours of sick leave time during a consecutive 12-month period. The consecutive 12-month benefit period must be established by employers and may not be changed without notifying the commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development. Employers that already provide sick leave are permitted to maintain their own policies, provided their policies provide benefits that are equal to or greater than the Act's benefits. Employees are permitted to carry over accrued sick leave time, but an employer may limit an employee's use of the leave to no more than 40 hours in a single benefit year. The Act does not require that accrued time be paid to employees upon separation of employment, unless an employer's policy so dictates.

The Act applies to all employers, except public employers, that are already subject to other sick leave laws. The Act's eligible employees are all employees EXCEPT per diem healthcare employees, public employees who already benefit from sick leave requirements and union construction workers. Importantly, temporary employment agencies should take note that temporary employees are entitled to sick leave, and their sick leave will accrue based on the time worked with the temporary agency rather than with individual assigned employers. Likewise, the Act explicitly states that per diem healthcare employees shall not include homemaker-home health aides.

In order to comply with the record-keeping requirements of the Act, employers must maintain documents reflecting the number of hours worked and number of sick leave hours accrued by employees. These records must be maintained for five years and made available for inspection upon request of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The Act expressly states that any accrued benefits transfer with employees to new positions and remain in place after acquisitions, and that if an employee separates from his or her employment and is then reinstated within six months, that employee's accrued leave time is maintained.

An employee may use his or her leave time for any of the reasons listed in the Act:

  1. diagnosis, care, treatment or recovery for an employee's own mental or physical condition, or a family member's mental or physical condition;
  2. counseling, legal services, or participation in any civil or criminal proceedings related to an employee's or family member's status as a domestic or sexual violence victim;
  3. leave when the employee's workplace or an employee's child's school or child care is closed by order of a public official due to a public health concern; or
  4. leave to attend a school-related conference or meeting.

Notably, and unlike in many other statutes, "family member" is defined very loosely as any person "whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship." This means that an employee may have an argument for leave related to a good friend, rather than being confined to what is traditionally considered a "family member."

Employers may dictate the increment in which an employee takes leave, provided that the largest increment required may not exceed the number of hours the employee was scheduled to work during the shift from which he or she requested leave. The Act also permits employers to require no more than seven calendar days' advance notice for any foreseeable use of leave. Employers also may utilize blackout dates for use of leave based on foreseeable reasons (i.e., a doctor's appointment), and may require proof that the leave was unforeseeable if leave is later requested on those blackout dates. Likewise, if an employee uses leave for three consecutive days, employers are permitted to request documentation to confirm that the employee's use of leave was consistent with one of the enumerated leave reasons under the Act.

Employees may, upon mutual consent with the employer, voluntarily choose to make up the time missed for any of the enumerated leave reasons under the Act, rather than taking sick time. However, an employer may not require employees to work additional hours, nor may an employer require an employee to find a replacement employee to cover the hours for which leave is taken.

The Act provides employees with a private right of action, which allows the same damages as those permitted in violations of the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law, such as back pay, double the amount of wages lost as liquidated damages and attorneys' fees. The Act also includes a rebuttable presumption of retaliation if any adverse action (i.e., termination, demotion, unfavorable reassignment) is taken by the employer within 90 days of certain protected activity (e.g., filing a complaint regarding retaliation or the refusal of leave, cooperating in an investigation).

Once in effect in October, the Act requires employers to notify employees about the benefits in the Act within 30 days from when the New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL) issues the notification. The notice must also be posted in the workplace. After the Act is in effect, and the notification has been issued by the NJDOL, employers are required to provide notice to each employee upon hire.

Employees will begin accruing sick leave as of Oct. 29, 2018, unless an employer's policy already provided for accrual prior to that time. Any employee who was hired prior to the effective date of the Act shall be eligible to use the sick leave on the 120th calendar day after that employee's hire date. This means that if an employee has been employed for 120 calendar days by the time the Act becomes effective, that employee is eligible to begin taking any accrued leave immediately. Employees hired after the effective date shall accrue time beginning on their hire date, and will be eligible to use the accrued time 120 calendar days after their hire.

Employers should begin planning to provide sick leave and reviewing their policies to ensure they are compliant with the Act's requirements.

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions