The proliferation of municipality sick leave laws in New Jersey continues with no sign of letting up. Passaic, East Orange, Paterson, and Irvington recently passed their own paid sick leave ordinances, and voters in Trenton and Montclair approved similar laws in the recent election. It is imperative for employers in these cities to take proper precautions and look closely at current sick leave policies.
These six cities will join Newark and Jersey City, who already have similar ordinances. The new laws closely track Newark’s ordinance and provide that employers with 10 or more employees must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave over a calendar year, and employers with fewer than 10 employees must provide up to 24 hours of paid sick leave over a calendar year. Employees must accrue at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, and for purposes of the law, exempt employees are presumed to work 40 hours per week.
The laws have various effective dates from late 2014 to early 2015:
Employers in these cities should check their sick leave policies to make sure the policies comply with these new laws. Further, companies must ensure that they keep adequate records of sick time accruals, as well as sick time that is used by covered employees. Additionally, these ordinances require that employers provide covered employees with written notice explaining their rights under the law at the time of hire, or for current employers as soon as possible after the law become effective. There will also be a poster for employers in these municipalities for employers to display.
Employers should take note that unlike the Newark ordinance, employees must be able to use sick time in hourly increments or the smallest time increment that the employer tracks for time recording purposes. Furthermore, these new ordinances provide more relief than the Newark law and even allow municipal courts to provide any relief deemed appropriate, which can include including reinstatement and restitution, among other items.
New Jersey employers needing help understanding their sick leave obligations or preparing any necessary notices should contact: