New Jersey Workers Will Soon be Entitled to Paid Sick Leave

On May 2, 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a bill enacting new paid sick leave protections for nearly all employees who work in New Jersey. The law, effective on October 29, 2018, requires New Jersey employers to provide employees one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work, up to a total of 40 paid sick leave hours per year. Employees can use the leave 120 days after it begins to accrue.

The new law covers almost all employees in New Jersey, but some, including construction workers, per-diem hospital workers, and public employees who receive sick leave under another law are not covered. Under the law, employees can use accrued paid leave if they or a family member are sick, for a child’s school conference or other event, or for recovery from domestic violence.

Employers may designate certain dates that cannot be taken off as paid sick leave. Employers may require certain documentation, such as a doctor’s note, for absences of three or more consecutive days.

While many employees in New Jersey already receive paid sick time, it is estimated that 1.2 million employees in the state do not have any paid time off for illness. New Jersey is the 10th state in the country to enact a paid sick leave law.

Governor Murphy said the new law means “something different to everyone.”

“For a child-care worker, it can mean having time to get well so she doesn’t spread her flu to the children in her care,” said Murphy. “For a restaurant worker, it can mean being able to take an hour to meet with his child’s teacher. For others—especially those seeking help from domestic violence—it is time that can quite literally mean the world.”

Posted by Mitchell Schley and Carli Jensen