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Need-to-know information about NJ sick leave law

On behalf of Cohn Lifland Pearlman Herrmann & Knopf LLP | Nov 7, 2018 |

Getting a job can be difficult. Sometimes, keeping one can be hard, too. As we noted in a post back in August, New Jersey stands out in the United States when it comes to mandating benefits for workers. Counted under this heading is the Family Leave Insurance program.  Family Leave Insurance provides monetary benefits for up to six weeks so employees can bond with a newborn or newly adopted child, or provide care for a seriously ill or injured family member.

Combined with the federal Family and Medical Leave act, the Family Leave Insurance provides some measure of financial security for many workers in the state. Taking advantage of them, of course, requires knowledge about what rights those laws convey. Many people don’t have that information, which is why consulting an employment law attorney is important.

The paid sick leave chapter

Add to the book of necessary knowledge a law that went into effect on October 29, 2018.

It’s called the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law. It grants covered employees an hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work. Eligible workers will be able to earn up to 40 hours of sick time in a year and be able to begin taking the time after 120 days on the job.

Who’s eligible

Not every worker is entitled to this benefit. For example, it does not apply to:

  • Union construction workers
  • Health care workers serving on a per diem basis
  • Government workers already covered by a sick pay contract

Employers are under obligation to inform workers about this law, so hopefully you’ve already gotten some word of it.

Allowable use of leave

The law establishes the breadth of conditions under which leave can be taken. These include:

  • Meeting your own health care needs or those of a dependent family member.
  • Health care needs, either physical or psychological, arising from domestic or sexual violence; or obtaining legal or victim services.
  • The closure of child care, school or work facilities resulting from a public health emergency.
  • Functions or meetings related to a child’s school.

If you have questions about how this law, contact the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development. If you believe your right to paid sick leave is being denied, consult an attorney.