New Jersey Gets Closer to Enacting Mandatory Sick Leave Law
March 30, 2018
Ty Hyderally, Esq., Francine Foner, Esq.
On March 26, 2018, the New Jersey Assembly passed by a vote of 50 to 24 (with one abstention) a proposed sick leave law (A1827) that would mandate sick leave for employees state wide. On the same day, the Senate Labor Committee voted in favor of referring its substitute employee sick leave bill (S2171) to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, and the following day adopted the Assembly version of the bill. As of March 30, the Senate had not yet voted on the bill.
The proposed legislation would require employers to provide earned sick leave to employees that they employ in the state, with an employee accruing one hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked, at the same rate of pay normally earned by the employee. In addition, employers would not be required to permit the employee to accrue or use, in any benefit year, or carry forward from one year to the next, more than 40 hours of earned sick leave. Thus, for employees who normally work an 8 hour day, they could carry over 5 sick days to the following year. Of course, the carry over could be greater, depending on the employer’s policy.
Currently there are 13 municipalities in New Jersey which have adopted local sick leave laws, which generally require 40 hours of sick leave each year: Bloomfield, East Orange, Elizabeth, Irvington, Montclair, Morristown, Newark, Passaic, Paterson, Plainfield and Trenton, Jersey City and New Brunswick. Montclair recently amended its local sick leave ordinance to mirror the pending state legislation’s requirement of permitting employees to carry over at least 40 hours of sick time to the following year. However, if the proposed New Jersey earned sick leave legislation is signed into law in its current form, whether or not municipalities choose to follow suit will be moot, as the state law would preempt any municipal or county ordinance regarding earned sick leave.
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