Phillips & Associates

New Jersey Sick Leave Law

Employment Lawyers Representing Workers Throughout New Jersey

New Jersey enacted a mandatory paid sick leave law in May. The governor signed it into law on May 2, 2018, and it will be effective on October 29, 2018. The sick leave law will require most employers in the state to give their employees 40 hours of paid sick leave each year. If you become concerned that your rights are being violated under the New Jersey sick leave law after it becomes effective, you should consult the experienced New Jersey employment lawyers at Phillips & Associates. We also can assist you with disability discrimination claims and other actions based on health conditions.

Understanding the New Jersey Sick Leave Law

The New Jersey paid sick leave law applies to employees working in New Jersey for compensation. However, employees who are per diem health care employees, public employees with existing sick leave benefits, or working in construction with an applicable collective bargaining agreement are excluded. The law applies to businesses of all sizes that have employees in New Jersey.

Under the law, employers must designate any 12-month period as a benefit year. During the benefit year, an employee can accrue a maximum of 40 hours of sick time, to be paid at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours that were worked. However, an employer can choose to allow the full 40 hours at the beginning of the designated benefit year as an alternative. This benefit year stays in place and cannot be altered without notification to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Any employee who is hired after the law goes into effect starts accruing sick time as of their first date of employment. If your employer already provides sick days, paid time off, personal days, or vacation policies, those policies can be used to satisfy what the law now requires.

When a temporary service places employees with firms, the employees' paid sick leave accrues based on the total time worked on assignment. It does not accrue per firm to which a temp may be assigned.

Your employer does not need to let you use more than 40 hours of sick leave in the designated benefit year. You can use any sick time that you have accrued after 120 days from your initial start date in order to recuperate from or be treated for your own physical or mental illness or to get care for certain family members who are ill, or in connection with an employee or family member's status as a victim of sexual violence or domestic violence. Family members include people related by blood as well as people with such a close association that it is the equivalent of a family relationship. This time can also be used if a public official closes a workplace or childcare for an employee's child in connection with a public health emergency, or if you need to go to a meeting with your child's school to talk about a child's disability or health. Our experienced attorneys can help you determine whether your situation fits within the law’s boundaries.

Your employer cannot require you to find another employee to cover your absence during the sick leave. For example, if you are a waitress and you take the sick leave provided under the law for three days’ worth of shifts, your employer is responsible for finding another waitress or waiter to cover those shifts.

Your employer can require you to provide advance notice of an absence if it is foreseeable. The law permits companies to stop the use of foreseeable paid sick leave benefits on particular dates. Your employer can also require documentation if you are taking an unforeseeable sick leave that is to fall within the act. When an employee is out for at least three days in a row, a business can ask for documentation to confirm that the employee used the paid sick leave for a reason allowed by the new law.

Consult a New Jersey Attorney for Your Employment Questions or Concerns

The New Jersey sick leave law entitles most employees in the state to take sick leave. This law can have positive benefits for everyone, especially employees with disabilities and medical conditions. If your employer refuses to allow you sick leave under the law once it is in effect, the New Jersey attorneys at Phillips & Associates can offer aggressive, experienced representation. Contact us at (212) 248-7431 or via our online form for a free consultation. We help clients in Jersey City, Paterson, Hackensack, Paterson, and Newark, as well as throughout Passaic, Bergen, Morris, Essex, Union, Hudson, Somerset, Middlesex, Monmouth, Mercer, Burlington, and Camden Counties.

100 Overlook Center, 2nd Floor
Princeton, NJ 08540
Tel: 609-436-9087

Managing Partner in New Jersey - Bryan Arce

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