Fast Facts for Earned Sick Leave Law

Thanks to the efforts of organized labor and its community allies, statewide earned sick leave was signed into law a few weeks ago by Governor Phil Murphy. This policy ensures that 1.2 million workers in New Jersey, who previously lacked earned sick days, will no longer have to make the immoral choice between a paycheck and their physical or mental health. This notice is meant to provide a more detailed overview of what this policy achieves for working families, and we encourage you to share this information with others who may be able to benefit from this major labor accomplishment.

The Basics:

  • This law establishes that all workers in New Jersey are eligible to earn up to a maximum of 5 days (40 hours) of paid sick time.
  • For every 30 hours worked, an employee will earn 1 hour of paid sick time. Therefore, to earn the maximum – 40 hours of paid sick time – an employee must work 1,200 hours.
  • Time accrued during a single year will be carried over into future years, but no additional days can be earned once the maximum of 5 is reached. Furthermore, No more than 5 days can be used in a given calendar year.
  • The law will take effect in October, 180 days after enactment on May 2, 2018.
  • The law only sets a minimum number of sick days that all workers are eligible to earn in New Jersey, so existing collective bargaining agreements will not be impacted.

Usage Guidelines:

Employees may use earned sick days for (1) their own health needs or that of a family member, defined in the law as a “child, grandchild, sibling, spouse, domestic partner, civil union partner, parent, or grandparent or any other individual related by blood to the employee or whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship”; (2) issues resulting from an employee (or family member of employee) being a victim of domestic or sexual violence, including medical attention necessary for physical or physical or psychological injury; obtaining services from a designated domestic violence agency or other victim services organization; relocation; or legal services, including participation in any related legal proceeding; (3) closure of the employee’s workplace, school, or childcare due to a public health emergency; (4) a child’s school-related conference, meeting, function, or other event.

For additional information, please CLICK HERE. Once again, we thank our affiliates, community partners, and allied elected officials for their hard work to make this commonsense law a reality for our state’s working families.

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