NJ DOL issues FAQs on new earned sick leave law

The New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law takes effect on October 29, 2018. Public Law 2018, Ch. 10, requires every employer to provide earned sick leave to each employee working in New Jersey.

The Department of Labor and Workforce Development has issued Earned Sick Leave FAQs to help employers comply with the new law.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the law Ch. 10 (A. 1827), L. 2018-into effect on May 2, 2018. The new law allows workers to accrue one hour of “earned sick leave” for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours each year. The law also permits employers to create more generous policies that provide additional leave time. Employees may use paid sick leave for the following: (1) Diagnosis, treatment, or recovery from a mental or physical illness or injury, or preventive care, for the employee or a family member; (2) Obtaining services if the employee or a family member is a victim of domestic or sexual violence; (3) Circumstances arising from a public health emergency; (4) A school-related meeting or event with regard to the employee’s child. This law is added to the New Jersey Statutes at Title 34, Chapter 11D.

For an employee who started employment on or before October 29, 2018, earned sick leave begins to accrue no later than October 29, 2018. For employees who start employment after October 29, 2018, earned sick leave shall begin to accrue on the date the employment starts.

The law applies to any person, firm, business, educational institution, nonprofit agency, corporation, limited liability company or other entity that employs employees in New Jersey, including a temporary help service firm. Employers of every size are covered. The law would also apply to out-of-state employers with employees in New Jersey.

Public employers are exempt if the employees are provided with sick leave at full pay under any other state law or rule, such as under N.J.S.A. 11A and N.J.A.C. 4A, civil service. Also exempt are workers properly classified as independent contractors.
The Department has issued a mandatory employee notice that must be posted in the workplace: New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Poster. For hard copies of the required posters, contact the Office of Constituent Relations at (609) 777-3200 or online at https://nj.gov/labor/lwdhome/content/employerpacketforms.html. (New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Agency News.)

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