NJ Employees Are Now Able to Use Their Earned Sick Leave – Are You Ready?

On October 29, 2018, the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act became effective. This Act requires all private sector employers to provide 40 hours of paid sick leave to their employees, regardless of classification. The law applies to all employers, regardless of size. However, under the statute, employees cannot begin using their earned sick leave until February 26, 2019. 

Are you ready?

Employers should review their handbook and paid time off policies to ensure they are consistent with the new law. Below are just a few items to think about:

  1. All employees – full-time, part-time, hourly and salaried – accrue earned sick leave under the Act. Does your policy cover accrual for all of your employees?
  2. An employer must use a uniform benefit year to calculate sick leave for all employees. Have you chosen and announced your benefit year to your employees?
  3. Employees can use sick time for an expansive array of reasons, including a child’s school event or to care for a “family member,” which is broadly defined under the Act. Have you reviewed your sick day policy to encompass these reasons? 

These are simply a few of the items to consider when making sure your existing policy is compliant with the new law. If you have not reviewed your policy and handbook, it is not too late to become compliant. Do not be caught unaware. Penalties for violations of the Act are significant, including damages, liquidated damages, fines, and even imprisonment.

If you have questions about whether your sick leave policy complies with the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act, please contact Megan Knowlton Balne at 856.355.2936 or balne@hylandlevin.com