How Would the New NJ Paid Sick Leave Law Affect Me?

New Jersey Employment Lawyers Explain Sick Leave Laws

The 1.1 million workers of New Jersey who are unable to earn sick leave are now one step closer to getting it, as a statewide paid sick leave bill passed an assembly committee 6-3. This is the first step that this bill must go through before ending up on the governor’s desk for approval. The proposed plan sets a minimum guarantee for all applicable employees of a New Jersey business. However, this does not necessarily cancel out pre-existing plans that are more comprehensive.

What Are the Details of the Proposed Paid Sick Leave Plan?

If passed, the bill would provide the following:

  • One hour of sick leave accrued for every 30 hours worked.
  • Employees of businesses with less than 10 employees can collect a total of 40 hours of paid sick time.
  • Employees of businesses with more than 10 employees can gain a maximum of 72 hours of paid sick time.

This plan is similar to local paid sick leave plans in cities such as Jersey City, Montclair, Newark, Paterson, Trenton and a few other cities in New Jersey. Currently, California, Connecticut and recently Massachusetts have the only statewide paid sick leave laws. Additionally, major cities such as New York City, Washington DC, Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco and Portland all have their own local version of a paid sick leave law. This trend towards mandated paid sick days has been gaining momentum through much of the country.

What Are the Benefits of the Sick Leave Plan?

The sick leave plan will allow employees to use this time to treat an illness, recover from an illness or to care for sick family members. Paid sick leave can benefit both workers and employers.

Allowing workers time off to recover will allow them to get back to 100 percent efficiency quicker than if they had to work while sick. Additionally, a sick worker can threaten the well-being of other employees, clients, customers or anyone else near a contagious employee. Without paid sick leave, some workers may choose to work while sick, rather than lose pay to recover at home. Some companies, such as Jimmy Johns, were hit with lawsuits after workers publicized the chain’s policy of making employees work while sick.

Furthermore, an employer offering their own generous benefits plan is likely to build trust, loyalty and respect among their employees and clientele.

If this bill passes, many companies will likely need to revise their employment policies and manuals, and workers need to understand how this affects their workplace rights. In either case, a New Jersey employment and business attorney can explain sick leave law to both employers and employees. Garland & Mason, L.L.C. works with both New Jersey workers and business owners, and they offer consultations to anyone with legal concerns about workplace rights.