Jersey City was the first city in the State of New Jersey to mandate certain private employers provide their workers paid sick leave. On October 28, 2015 the Jersey City Council adopted a revision to its local sick leave law, and expanded the law to cover small business owners, employers with fewer than 10 employees.
What has changed:
Employers who have fewer than 10 employees must now provide paid sick leave to their employees. Previously, the local ordinance only applied to employers with 10 or more employees. Now, employees working for employers who employ less than 10 employees will accrue compensated sick time up to a maximum of 24 hours per year. Once 24 hours has been accrued, they will continue to accrue unpaid sick time up to a maximum of 16 hours per year. Employees who are child care workers, home health care workers and food service workers must be provided up to 40 hours of paid sick time per calendar year. The maximum penalty for a violation of this Ordinance has been increased from $1,250.00 to $2,000.00 per violation.
What employers need to know:
All business owners must now provide some form of paid sick leave to its non-unionized employees. The revised Ordinance applies to full and part-time employees, but does not cover those workers covered by a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”). The changes in the local ordinance will not take effect until the CBA expires, however if the leave afforded by the CBA are greater than those afforded by the local Ordinance, the leave granted by the expired CBA will govern. Employers must retain records evidencing hours worked by employees and paid sick time taken for three (3) years. The law takes effect 60 days after the Jersey City Mayor signs the new law.
Next steps for Employers:
Employers must adopt and implement a paid sick leave policy in compliance with the new Ordinance and notify your employees of your change in policy. Employers should also implement a tracking system to track, record and retain all records evidencing your employees have been provided the minimum number of paid and unpaid sick leave days.
For assistance drafting your paid sick leave policy, and to ensure your policy is compliant with the amended Jersey City Ordinance, contact Deena B. Rosendahl, Esq. at 201-947-8855 or via email at Drosendahl@northjerseyattorneys.com.