New Jersey begins debate on passage of Paid Sick Leave Law
By Deena Rosendahl, Esq.
The Assembly Labor Committee heard testimony last week on a proposed bill which would mandate paid sick time off for all New Jersey employees.
The Bill, as currently proposed, would require all New Jersey employers to provide earned sick leave for every employee working in the State of New Jersey. The Bill proposes for every thirty hours worked, employees will accrue one hour of sick leave. Employees working for a small employer (employing fewer than 10 employees) not only have the right to accumulate unused sick leave but to carry over up to 40 hours of paid sick leave for a period of one year. Employees working for large employers may accrue and carry over up to 72 hours of paid sick leave for one year. This would change the popular “use it or lose it” policies many employers have adopted.
The Bill further provides that paid sick leave can be used not just for the employee’s own mental or physical illness, injury or other health condition, but also to care for a family member suffering from an illness or injury.
Additionally, the Bill proposes employers will be required, for the first time, to maintain time records for all employees, even non-exempt employees, in order to show hours worked and sick leave earned and taken by every employee. Currently, there is no requirement for employers to maintain time records for non-exempt employees.
Several New Jersey cities have already adopted local paid sick leave laws (e.g., Newark, Jersey City, Passaic, Paterson, East Orange and Irvington). If passed, in any form, New Jersey will join the growing trend of States (first led by Connecticut and then California) to require paid sick leave for employees.
The Bill has not been voted on and is currently under review to consider additional amendments. We will be keeping a watchful eye on any developments in the review and potential passage of this Bill. For any questions regarding paid sick leave laws, and your rights and obligations to provide and/or be afforded paid sick leave, contact Deena B. Rosendahl, Esq. at Drosendahl@Northjerseyattorneys.com or at 201-947-8855.