Mandatory paid sick leave could be coming to New Jersey too.

New Jersey Outline map

By No machine-readable author provided. ChrisRuvolo assumed (based on copyright claims). [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

New Jersey ain’t done yet, dudes!

Yesterday, I blogged here about the big, err, HUUUUUUUUUUUGE gender pay equity bill that’s gonna become law in New Jersey very soon.

Today, I bring you news of a paid-sick-leave bill that is gathering momentum as well.

Under Assembly Bill 1827, which the Assembly passed on Monday, NJ employers would have to provide earned sick leave to employees that they employ in New Jersey at a rate of one hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

The bill also requires an employer to pay its employees for earned sick leave at the same rate of pay, and with the same benefits, as the employee earns typically.

Additionally, employees can carry over up to 40 hours of earned sick leave into the following year.

Further, an employee may use the earned sick leave beginning on the 120th day after employment commences, unless the employer agrees to an earlier date. The employee may subsequently use earned sick leave as soon as it is accrued.

Sick leave here isn’t like vacation or other forms of PTO. Instead, usage is limited to one of five reasons:

  1. for diagnosis, care, treatment, or recovery related to the employee’s illness;
  2. to care for a family member during diagnosis, care, treatment, or recovery related to the family member’s illness;
  3. for certain absences resulting from the employee or a family member being a victim of domestic or sexual violence;
  4. for time during which the employee is not able to work because of a closure of the employee’s workplace, or the school or place of
    care of a child of the employee, in connection with a public health emergency or a determination that the presence of the employee or child in the community would jeopardize the health of others; or
  5. to attend school-related conferences, meetings, or events, or to attend other meetings regarding care for the employee’s child

The employer can require advance notice for sick leave that is foreseeable. (Editor’s Note: Good luck with that!) There’s also an anti-retaliation provision.

Bill Wichert of Law360 reports here that the Senate will be next to vote on this measure, amidst concerns about the impact that this law could have on small businesses and startups. So, maybe between now and when this bill makes it to the Governor’s desk, we’ll see an amendment to exclude employers with fewer than a certain number of employees, maybe ten.

Wow! Between paid sick leave, equal pay, and #MeToo, NJ employers have a lot of HR-compliance for which to prepare in 2018.




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