Important Regulatory Updates – Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Law

By: Gina L. Campanella, Esq., FACHE

The New Jersey Mandatory Paid Sick Leave law, which was passed on May 2, 2018, officially goes into effect on October 29, 2018.  In advance of the effective date, the New Jersey Department of Labor has finally issued their proposed Regulations for enforcement of this law.  As is often the case with new laws such as these, regulations come out just prior to the effective date and can result in changes to the prior understanding of the requirements under the law.  These Regulations make important changes to prior guidance issued.  These changes are as follows:

  1. The proposed Regulations modify the accrual start date to October 29, 2018. All Employees employed prior to October 29, 2018 will start accruing sick time on October 29, 2018.  Any employees hired after this date will start accruing time on his or her first day of employment.  The 120-day waiting period from the start date of accrual of time for employees to use accrued time remains.
  2. Employees may, if the Employer consents, elect to work additional hours at a different time (when they are not ill) to compensate for missed time rather than using paid sick leave time. The employer does not have to permit this, but also cannot require it.
  3. Payout and/or carryover is required for any Employer who elects to provide sick time using the advancement method (i.e. all sick time is advanced at the start of the benefit year prior to being earned). Employers who elect to utilize an accrual method do not have to offer carry over or payout at the end of the benefit year.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to our office.  If you have not already updated your Employee Handbook or Employee Policies to reflect the new law, now is the time to do so!

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