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New Jersey Considers State-Wide Paid Sick Leave

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Recently we reported to you that California became the second state (after Connecticut) to mandate paid sick leave for employees with the law becoming effective as of July 1, 2015, and notably applies to employers of all sizes and to California employees of companies based in other states. There are also a handful of municipalities, including New York City, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Newark and Jersey City, New Jersey and Eugene, Oregon, which have paid sick leave policies already in effect.

Continuing the trend, the City Council for Passaic, New Jersey passed an ordinance requiring employers to provide three to five sick days annually to employees working at least 80 hours in a calendar year. The mayor is expected to sign the ordinance, and the new law will take effect 120 days after the date of signing. Modeled after a law passed last year in Newark, New Jersey, Passaic employers with 10 or more employees must provide 40 hours of paid sick leave annually. Smaller employers only need provide up to 24 hours of sick leave annually. Even more broadly, Passaic employers in the child care, home health care and food service industries must give 40 hours of paid sick leave regardless of their size.

Similar legislation is ongoing in other New Jersey municipalities, including Trenton, Paterson, Irvington, Montclair and East Orange.

And, as the momentum continues, New Jersey legislators are considering a state-wide bill which would provide for the accrual of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Under this proposed legislation, employers with fewer than 10 employees would be required to provide up to 40 hours of earned sick leave, while employers with more than 10 employees would have to provide up to 72 hours.

As with our California members, we encourage our New Jersey contractors to review your personnel policies and if you currently fall under the municipalities which mandate sick leave, adjust your policies according. If the state-wide legislation is passed and signed into law by Governor Chris Christie, you must be prepared to adjust your sick leave policies for compliance. We will keep abreast of this fluid situation, and report any additional nuances to the bill, if passed, as well.

Hilary Atkins

Posted In: Legal

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