When Does The Law Go Into Effect?
This law goes into effect on October 29th 2018.
Paid sick leave is available to every employee (hourly, salaried, full-time, part-time). Every employer, regardless of size, must provide paid sick leave. This includes temporary help service firms and small businesses.
What About Municipal Ordinances That Provide for Sick Pay?
This law preempts every local ordinance in New Jersey.
How Does Leave Accrue?
Employees will accrue one hour of paid time off for every 30 hours worked up to a maximum of 40 hours and can begin using the time after 120 days of employment. Employers can alternatively, present the leave as an annual benefit where employer provides a full complement of earned sick leave for a benefit year on the first day of each benefit year.
Upon mutual consent, the employee may voluntarily choose to work additional hours or shifts during the same pay period, but an employer cannot require it. Employers may choose the increments in which the time off may be taken (full days, half days, etc.). Employers cannot mandate that their employees take more time than they are already scheduled to work.
At the end of the year, an employee can carry forward their earned sick leave time or have it purchased by the employer. The act does not require a company to pay unused accrued sick pay leave at time of separation unless it is so promised in an employment handbook or contract.
How Can Time Be Used?
Employers may require that employees provide up to seven (7) days advance notice of the need to use earned sick leave, where reasonably foreseeable. If the need for paid sick leave is unforeseeable, the employee must give notice as soon as practicable. Employers may prohibit employees from exercising foreseeable sick leave on certain days or where it unduly disrupts the employer’s operations. Employers may require reasonable documentation for absences of three
(3) or more days.
Employees can use their paid sick time for their own use, or to take care of a family member. A family member is defined as (1) a child, grandchild, sibling, spouse, domestic partner, civil union partner, parent, or grandparent of an employee; (2) a spouse, domestic partner, or civil union partner of a parent or grandparent of the employee; (3) a sibling of a spouse, domestic partner, or civil union partner of the employee or (4) any other individual related by blood to the employee or whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship
How Is PTO Policy Affected?
If an employer already offers a minimum of 40 hours’ worth of paid time off, the employer is following this law. As long as employees can use their time for the purposes cited under the law, different terminology may be used.
What Do Employees Get?
Employers must pay employees at the same rate of pay they normally receive. For those employers with tipped employees, the state-mandated minimum wage of $8.60 must be paid, as opposed to the tipped wage of $2.13. Employers do not need to pay on tips, just the state minimum wage.
The information contained in this article is not intended to create an attorney client relationship. If you need help with a specific legal problem, contact a qualified attorney. If you have a question about your rights or responsibilities in the workplace please feel free to contact David Rostan, an attorney who has focused his practice for over twenty-three years on employment law. He can be reached at 973-520-8301, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting his web site www.davidrostanlaw.com