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Jersey City, New Jersey Adopts Paid Sick Leave

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While businesses continue to fight paid sick leave on a state-wide basis, New Jersey municipalities and local groups are passing legislation that is slowly but surely taking over parts of the state. The most recent city to pass a sick leave law is Jersey City, and the ordinance will become effective January 24, 2016.

The new law requires employers with fewer than ten employees to provide paid sick leave to workers up to 24 hours of paid sick leave and 16 hours of unpaid sick time. Employers cannot require their employees who have accrued both paid and unpaid sick leave time to exhaust unpaid sick leave time prior to being entitled to use paid sick leave time.

The requirements under the new law of providing paid and unpaid sick leave do not apply to employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement to the extent that such requirements are expressly waived “in a clear and unambiguous manner” under the agreement.

Additionally, employers of child care workers, health care workers, and food service workers must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year, regardless of the size of the employer.

The maximum penalty for violating the new law is $2,000 per violation, raising the damages from formerly imposed $1,250 in damages under the original provision.

New Jersey members located in Jersey City should not count on any pending litigation in the state to avoid putting in place measures to abide by the new laws come this January. Members should review and revise their personnel handbooks and any pertinent materials, and prepare for accounting for worker’s paid sick leave time.

Hilary Atkins

Posted In: Legal

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