by James M. Leva
Elizabeth will be the 10th New Jersey municipality to require employers to provide paid sick leave when a new law takes effect on March 2.
Elizabeth’s law largely mirrors laws passed in Bloomfield, East Orange, Irvington, Jersey City, Montclair, Newark, Passaic, Paterson, and Trenton.
The Elizabeth law applies to all private employers regardless of size, but the amount of paid sick leave employees are eligible to take varies based on the employer’s total number of employees.
Eligible employees will accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employees working for employers with fewer than 10 workers may accrue only 24 hours of sick leave per year. Employers with 10 or more employees must provide workers with 40 hours of paid sick leave per year. Employers in the childcare, home healthcare, and food-service industries must provide employees 40 hours of annual sick leave regardless of their total number of employees.
Employees aren’t permitted to use accrued sick time until their 90th day of employment. To be eligible for the benefit, an employee must work at least 80 hours in a calendar year. Paid sick time need not be taken in full-day increments.
Employees may carry over up to 40 hours of accrued sick time to the following year, but an employer need not allow employees to use more than 40 hours of paid sick time in a single calendar year. Employees aren’t entitled to payment for unused sick time upon termination.
Employees may use paid sick time for the medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of their own or a family member’s mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition. Employees also may use paid sick time when their place of business or their child’s school or day care is closed because of a public health emergency or if they must care for a family member who has been officially quarantined because of exposure to a communicable disease.
For more information on the Elizabeth, New Jersey, paid sick time law, see the January 2016 issue of New Jersey Employment Law Letter.