State of New Jersey

Governor Phil Murphy

ICYMI: Earned Sick Leave Law Goes into Effect in NJ

NJ Becomes 10th State to Require Employers to Provide Paid Time Off to Workers

TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey became the 10th state in the nation to require employers to provide paid time off to full- and part-time workers when its Earned Sick Leave Law went into effect on Monday.

Under the law signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in May, employers must provide up to 40 hours of earned sick leave per year. Full- and part-time employees accrue paid time off at a rate of one hour of earned sick time for every 30 hours worked, or the employer can advance its employees earned sick leave at the beginning of the benefit year. 

“Finally, New Jerseyans will never have to choose whether to visit a doctor, care for a loved one, or earn a paycheck,” said Gov. Murphy. “With this law, we will improve the lives of residents across the state, giving them the protections they deserve.”

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development is charged with enforcing the new law.

“As part of its enforcement role, the Department has been getting the word out to employers and employees on their rights and responsibilities under the law,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “We have fielded a lot of calls from businesses seeking to understand their obligation to employees, and from workers who have questions about how they earn sick days. We’ve gotten to this point thanks to the concern and action of our legislators, and because of many passionate advocates.”

Permissible uses of earned sick time include: when an employee or a family member is sick, for routine medical care, to deal with issues related to domestic or sexual violence, to attend a child’s school-related meeting or event, or when schools are closed due to a public health emergency.

The Center for Economic and Policy Research, which studied the impact of New York City’s 2013 earned sick leave law, found that providing earned sick leave did not lead to loss of jobs, impose cost burdens on employers, or result in widespread abuses by employees, as critics had feared. Eighteen months after New York City’s law took effect, 86 percent of employers surveyed expressed support for the earned sick leave legislation, according to the report. To read the report, click here.

The Labor Department has posted answers to the most frequently asked questions about the new law on its website. To read the FAQs, click here

The Department has published proposed rules on how the Earned Sick Leave Law will be implemented, and will accept written comments to the proposed rules through December 14, 2018 to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Office of Legal and Regulatory Services, P.S. Box 110, Trenton, NJ 08625-0110. To read the proposed rules, click here. The Department has scheduled a public hearing on the rule proposal for 10 am on Tuesday, Nov. 13, in the Labor Department’s auditorium, 1 John Fitch Plaza, Trenton.

Nine other states mandate that employers provide their employees with paid sick leave. There currently is no federal paid sick leave law.

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