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New Brunswick Becomes Eleventh New Jersey Municipality to Pass New Sick Leave Laws

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Following in the footsteps of ten of their brethren townships and municipalities, New Brunswick jumped on the bandwagon as 2015 came to a close and passed legislation to mandate paid sick leave. It is also the first city in the state to specify that leave may be used for purposes related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

The New Brunswick ordinance carries a variety of provisions, the highlights being:

  • Private sector employers with 10 or more employees are required to provide full-time employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year, and part-time employees with up to 24 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year.
  • Private sector employees with 10 or fewer employees are required to provide employees with up to 24 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year.
  • The ordinance excludes individuals who are employed by a governmental entity; members of construction unions covered by collective bargaining agreements; employees who average less than 20 hours of work per week regardless of the size of the company; employers with less than 5 full-time employees; individuals who work from home; independent contractors; and per diem or temporary hospital employees.

The ordinance holds other provisions, and our New Brunswick, New Jersey contractor members should consult it for further application, and be sure to update their current sick leave policies and practices and ensure compliance with the new law. The ordinance is effective as of January 6, 2016.

Further, the New Jersey Senate earlier in December approved statewide sick leave legislation (S785). This bill still requires approval by the Assembly and a signature from Governor Chris Christie (both very uncertain) and, if enacted, it will impose sick leave obligations on New Jersey employers of all sizes. Also, if enacted, the state-wide legislation will pre-empt any current local paid sick leave laws which offer less favorable benefits than the state law, and will prohibit municipalities from adopting local ordinances mandating paid sick leave for private employers after the law’s effective date. On the flip side, the state’s Assembly is considering paid sick leave legislation statewide, but this legislation would not pre-empt any of the municipal laws.

Hilary Atkins

Posted In: Legal, Management

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