Beginning today, private sector employees can start using the state-mandated paid sick time they accrued between now and when the landmark legislation went into effect on Oct. 29, 2018.
The legislation – Assembly Bill 1827 – which Gov. Phil Murphy signed in May 2018, requires at least one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, making New Jersey the tenth state to adopt such a policy.
Any hours not used by the end of the year would not be lost, but rather, carried over into the following year or bought back by the employer, capped at 40 hours a year.
“New Jersey enacted some of the strongest earned sick leave protections in the country to ensure that no one would have to choose between taking care of themselves or a sick relative and their performance at work,” Murphy said at a Tuesday morning press conference in Princeton.
“This law is improving the lives of many hardworking men and women and making New Jersey a healthier place to live and work,” Murphy added.
Workers can take off to care for themselves, or care for family members including a child, grandchild, sibling, spouse, parent, grandparent, domestic partner or a family-member equivalent.
Victims of domestic and sexual violence, as well as their family members, could use the sick for treatment and recovery.
Employers could still require a seven-day advance notice for foreseeable medical events, and could bar sick time from being used on major holidays.
Employers would not have to provide additional sick time if they already offer paid time off. The legislation allows exemptions for health care employees, public workers and unionized construction workers.
“Earned sick time is a basic right that benefits not just workers, but their families, their employers, and the public,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo, whose department will oversee the program. “Allowing workers to earn time off to care for themselves or a relative promotes healthy workplaces and communities, lifts families and encourages a stronger, fairer economy.”