NEW JERSEY MINIMUM WAGE $13.00 Effective January 1, 2022

New Jersey has now become the tenth state to enact a statewide mandatory paid-sick-leave law which is one of New Jersey Mandatory Posters. The New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act (A-1827) was signed into law on May 2 by Gov. Phil Murphy and will go into effect on Oct. 29. The basic gist of the law is that now New Jersey employers, of any size, are required to provide up to; 40 hours of paid sick leave per year to covered employees. Regardless of your size, virtually every employer with workers in New Jersey will be impacted by this law. You want your employment policies to be in compliance, right? What do you need to know? 

If you are in one of the municipalities that already has such laws (Bloomfield, East Orange, Elizabeth, Irvington, Jersey City, Montclair, Morristown, Newark, New Brunswick, Passaic, Paterson, Plainfield, and Trenton) don’t worry. There’s no need to comply with two sets of laws and regulations as the new state Act supersedes any previous laws. 

Here are the salient points NJ legislators need to know:

Who is covered?

Covered employers are business entities of any size that employ employees in the state of New Jersey. This includes temporary help service firms but excludes public employers who are already required to provide sick leave.

Covered employees are most employees working in the state “for compensation” excluding construction workers who are employed under a collective bargaining agreement, per diem healthcare employees, and the employees working for the public employers mentioned above.

How is Leave Accrued?

Leave is accrued over a 12-month period known as a “benefit year.” Employees accrue one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked. Employers are not required to permit employees to accrue more than 40 hours (5 days) of leave.

Earned sick leave may used for:

  • Diagnosis, care, treatment of, or recovery from, a mental or physical illness, injury or other adverse health conditions, or for preventative medical care of the employee
  • Caring for a family member during diagnosis, care, treatment of, or recovery from, a mental or physical illness, injury or other adverse health conditions, or for preventative medical care of the employee’s family member
  • Absence(s) necessary due to the employee or employee’s family member being a victim of domestic or sexual violence, if the earned sick leave is used for:
    • medical attention needed to recover from physical or psychological injury or disability caused by domestic or sexual violence
    • services from a designated domestic violence agency or other victim services organization;
    • psychological or other counseling
    • relocation
    • other legal services, including obtaining a restraining order or preparing for, or participating in, any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to the domestic violence or sexual violence
  • Time needed after the closure of the employee’s workplace or the school/place of care of the employee’s child by order of a public official or other public health emergency, or if a public health authority issues a determination that the presence of the employee or their family member would jeopardize the health of others
  • Attending a school-related function of the employee’s child requested or required by the school responsible for the child’s education, or attending a meeting concerning the care provided to the child in connection with the child’s health conditions or disability

An employee may not use earned sick leave for any purpose other than those listed above and an employer may discipline an employee who does so.

As a New Jersey employer, you still have a few months (October 29th, 2018 to be exact) to become compliant with the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act (A-1827) but it’s never too early to familiarize yourself and begin planning for the future.