The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) has released final regulations enforcing its paid sick leave law.
All New Jersey employers are required to provide employees with at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employers may provide employees with their full allotment of paid sick leave on the first day of a benefit year ("frontload" the leave) and may cap accrual at 40 hours per benefit year. Initially, employers had to establish a benefit year that was a period of 12 consecutive months in which employees accrue and use sick leave under the law.
The NJDOL recently released final regulations clarifying and enforcing the state's paid sick leave law. The state also noted that it plans to adopt additional regulations. Below is a summary of the recent regulations.
The final regulations eliminate the requirement that employers establish a single benefit year for all employees, and instead allow paid sick leave to be accrued based on employee anniversary dates.
If an employer chooses to use a single paid time off bank (instead of a separate paid sick leave policy), then the entire bank must meet all of the requirements of the paid sick leave law. This means that all hours accrued under the employer's paid time off program are subject to the state's paid sick leave rules. For example, an employer that provides each employee a single bank of 80 hours of paid time off that can be used for any reason (sick, vacation, floating holiday, etc.), cannot require more advance notice for any PTO day beyond what is permitted under the state's paid sick leave law.
The final regulations clarify that employees can use their paid sick leave to attend their children's non-educational school events, such as school plays, recitals, or parties to which they are required or requested to attend.
Additional Regulations Coming:
The final regulations identify additional issues that the NJDOL intends to address through formal rulemaking, including expanded eligibility for paid sick leave and prorating sick time when an employee starts in the middle of a benefit year.
Employers with employees in New Jersey should review their policies, forms, practices, and supervisor training to ensure compliance with the final regulations. Additionally, watch for further developments in the future. Please contact your dedicated service professional with any questions.