By: Dina M. Mastellone
Last week, an ambitious bill that would require all employers in New Jersey to offer paid sick days to employees was approved by the Assembly Labor Committee, clearing its first hurdle in the Legislative process. Assembly Bill No. 2354, sponsored by Assemblywoman Pamela R. Lampitt, District 6 (Burlington and Camden) and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, District 33 (Hudson), would require New Jersey businesses with 10 or more employees to provide up to 72 hours of paid sick time, equal to nine full days, while employers with fewer than 10 employees must provide up to 40 hours, equal to five full days, each benefit year. The bill sets only a minimum guarantee, but employers would be allowed to provide more generous sick-leave benefits.
Each employee would earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Sick time may be used for an employee’s health care, the care of a family member, the closure of the employee’s place of business due to a public health emergency, to care for a child whose school is closed due to a public health emergency, and time needed to deal with either being the victim of, or having a family member who is, the victim of domestic violence. The Bill also creates an exception for employees covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement.
First introduced in February of this year, this Bill comes at a time where numerous municipalities throughout the State have already enacted its own versions of the proposed paid sick time regulation. Mandatory paid sick time laws are already in effect in six New Jersey cities: Newark, Jersey City, East Orange, Paterson, Passaic and Irvington. Residents of Trenton and Montclair will vote for the passage of their own earned sick leave law in Tuesday’s election. Only Connecticut and California have statewide legislation currently in place.
For more information on this Bill and compliance with paid sick time laws, please contact Dina M. Mastellone, Esq., Counsel in the Human Resource and Employment Law & Litigation Practice Groups at firstname.lastname@example.org