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New Jersey's Paid Sick Leave Act

August 23, 2018 Christopher Heyer

Paid-Sick-LeaveOn October 29, 2018, New Jersey’s Paid Sick Leave Act will become effective.  The Act will provide eligible employees with paid leave associated with tending to their own medical needs as well as the medical needs of family members. 

The Act applies to all New Jersey employers, including temporary service companies, regardless of the number of employees.  Eligible employees are entitled to accrue sick leave at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked in a consecutive 12-month period, up to 40 hours paid sick leave in a given calendar year.  At the end of given benefits year, employees will have the option of either carrying over up to 40 hours of unused sick leave into the following calendar year or receive payment of their unused sick days in the final month the benefits year.  

Significantly, paid sick leave can be used to care for an eligible employee’s own medical care as well as the medical care for an employee’s family member.  Moreover, paid sick leave can be used where an employee or an employee’s family member is the victim of domestic or sexual violence.  Employees may also use paid sick leave where there is a closure of the employee’s child’s school due to public health emergency, or for attendance at a child’s school-related conference or meeting required by a school administrator.

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Employer’s may require up to 7 days advance notice from an eligible employee, where the sick leave is foreseeable.  If the sick leave is unforeseeable, employers may require notice as soon as practicable and require reasonable documentation regarding the sickness in certain instances.  Where an employee uses three or more consecutive sick days, an employer may require medical documentation as verification that the leave was for a medical reason.  The Act prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who exercise their rights, creating a rebuttable presumption of unlawful retaliation for any adverse action taken against the employee within 90 days of the date an employee exercises his or her rights under the Act.

To learn more about compliance with New Jersey’s Paid Sick Leave Act and how it may impact you, feel free to contact me at cheyer@scura.com or call me at (973) 696-8391.

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