New Jersey’s New Sick Leave Laws: Happier, Healthier, Better Workers

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On May 2, 2018, Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey State Senate made New Jersey the tenth state in America to establish paid sick leave legislation, and the truth is that it really seems to have heart. The other states that have done this so far include California, Washington, Washington, DC, and other New England states, but no southern states.

Adults struggling with health concerns or supporting disabled or sick loved ones are supported by this law, and so are parent employees. This law even supports families by allowing workers to take a sick day in order to attend important school meetings and events for their children.

What Can a Sick Day Be Used For Under This New Law?

  • Employee health issues or else health problems of a spouse or dependent that is either related by blood or associated in a close family-like relationship
  • If the employee or family member has been a victim of domestic violence and needs physical/ mental care, and also if there is time needed to sort out legal matters or relocation
  • If there is a public health concern with the place of employment, or a health concern at the school or daycare facility that your child attends.
  • If there is a school-related event or meeting that the parent needs to attend for their child.

Effects of This New Sick Leave Law

Some employers are concerned about the cost of the new law, but they might appreciate information from a recent study that specifically addressed this. It was funded by the Department of Labor’s Chief Evaluation Office and is presented as part of the Worker Leave Analysis and Simulation Issue. According to the results of this study, things could actually improve for everyone concerned—employers included, and the cost to implement this properly can be quite low.

Benefits of Sick Leave Regulations:

WORKPLACE:

  • Reduction of contagious disease growing around the workplace
  • Growth in employee productivity
  • Less injury in the workplace
  • Less turnover
  • More worker stability
  • More dependable income for employees
  • More loyalty to employers as employees will be afforded the ability to take better care of themselves as needed.

PUBLIC HEALTH:

  • Adequate time to heal from sickness and/or injury
  • More and better preventative care
  • Healthier families
  • Less wasteful use of taxes to cover overuse of the Emergency Department in healthcare

Reasonable Stipulations

  • Employers must allow employees to use sick leave for the reasons stated above for up to 40 hours/year
  • 30 hrs of work = 1 sick leave hour
  • The time saved accrues, and it’s good up for up to 120 days.  

When Will the New Sick Leave Law Take Place?

The New Jersey Earned Sick Leave law will go into effect on October 29, 2018, and it will preempt all previous laws regarding sick leave.

Employees will begin to accrue leave and they will become eligible to use the accrued leave after 120 days. For employees hired after the effective date of the law, benefits will begin to accrue immediately and they will be eligible to use the leave after 120 days. However, employers may agree to an earlier date.

If you are concerned about this change and need help for any reason, reach out to a qualified lawyer to get a straight answer and take out the guesswork. Go here to find a New Jersey employment lawyer today.

Sources:

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/05/heres_how_the_new_sick_pay_law_will_work_in_nj.html

https://iwpr.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMPAQ-Paid-Sick-Days-1-2.pdf

https://www.laboremploymentlawblog.com/2018/05/articles/paid-sick-leave/paid-sick-leave-time/
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