New Jersey Issues FAQ for Sick and Safe Leave Law

On Oct. 29, 2018, the NJ Earned Sick Leave Law went into effect. On that same day, NJ’s Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL) released an FAQ and published a model employee notice in English and 12 other languages.

As we discussed in previous Compliance Corner articles (the Oct. 3 Paid Sick Leave proposal update and the May 1 Paid Sick Leave Law update), Gov. Murphy signed the NJ Paid Sick Leave Act into law on April 12, 2018, making NJ the 10th state to require employers to provide paid time off to full- and part-time workers. Under the law, employers must allow eligible employees to accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick leave.

The FAQ provides answers to more than 100 questions, including details regarding the employees that are covered by the law, the rights to earn sick leave, the proper use of sick leave, how an employee’s earned sick leave is paid, how an employee can file a complaint against an employer, and the required notice to employees.

The DOL also published a model employee notice to assist employers with the law’s requirement to give employees notice of their right to earned sick leave. Specifically, employers are to provide notice of employee rights within 30 days of the notice being published (Nov. 29, 2018), at the time of a new employee’s hiring (going forward), and upon first request by an employee. The model notice is available in English and 12 other languages: Arabic, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Guajarati, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Tagalog. The employer must also provide notice of the law in a conspicuous place or places to all employees of each employer’s workplaces. This poster must be displayed in English, Spanish or any other language that a majority of employees consider their primary language as long as the agency has created a notice in that language.

Employers must keep or maintain records that the notice was provided to an employee and proof that it was received. The FAQ clarifies that an employer may satisfy this requirement by sending employees an email and can satisfy the posting obligation by displaying the notice on internet or intranet sites exclusively used by employees (if all employees have access). Saved signed copies or email receipts is a good way to document that individual notice occurred.

The NJ DOL is accepting written comments to the proposed rules through Dec. 14, 2018.

The employer should review its record retention policies to ensure compliance with the law.

NJ Earned Sick Leave Webpage »
NJ Press Release »
Frequently Asked Questions »
Model Notice »