On November 3, 2015, voters in Elizabeth, New Jersey approved a ballot-box question requiring employers to provide paid sick leave by a vote of 3,037 to 563. Elizabeth is now the 10th municipality in New Jersey since 2013 (Jersey City being the first) to pass a paid sick leave initiative. The new law gives private-sector workers the ability to accrue up to 1 hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, with a 40-hour-per-year cap for workers at businesses with 10 or more employees. A 24-hour-per-year cap would be in place for workers at businesses with 9 or fewer employees. Anyone who comes into contact with the public as part of their work, though, such as food service and daycare employees, will be able to get five days a year, regardless of the size of the employer. In addition, significantly for organized labor, it would subject all of Newark International Airport to the law since one of its three terminals is located in Elizabeth. The advocates of paid sick leave are hopeful that lawmakers in Trenton will be encouraged to enact a statewide initiative in 2016.
Four states — California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Oregon — have also passed sick leave laws. The new law in Elizabeth will take effect on February 1, 2016.
For more information on the new ordinance, or for information on paid sick time laws in other jurisdictions, please contact Dina M. Mastellone, Esq., Director of the firm’s Human Resources Practice Group, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-533-0777.