Oct 23, 2018

New Jersey Releases Required Notice of Employee Rights in Connection with New Earned Sick Leave Law

Earned Sick Leave Law

Earlier this year, New Jersey enacted a law that requires New Jersey employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave.  The law will become effective this Monday, October 29, 2018.  In order to be in compliance, employers must also post a notice of employee rights.

Under the new law, New Jersey employers will be required to provide their employees with one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked and to pay them for earned sick leave “at the same rate of pay with the same benefits as the employee normally earns.”  The annual accrual, use, and carryover of earned sick leave is capped at 40 hours per year.  Alternatively, employers may provide employees with 40 hours of earned sick leave up front.

Employees can begin to accrue earned sick leave on October 29, 2018, or on the employee’s first day of employment, whichever is later.  Employees can begin using earned sick leave accrued under the law 120 calendar days after the employee begins employment.

On October 3, 2018, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (the “NJDOL”) released the required notice that must be posted and distributed to all New Jersey employees.  A copy of the notice can be found on the NJDOL’s website here.

New Jersey employers must post a notice of employee rights in a conspicuous place accessible to all employees in each of the employer’s workplaces.  The notice may be posted electronically on “an internet site or intranet site” if the employer has such a site for “exclusive use by its employees and to which all employees have access.”

Employers are also required to distribute the notice to employees.  Employers must provide all employees with a copy of the notice of rights (1) within 30 days after it is issued by the NJDOL, (2) at the time of hiring (if the employee is hired after October 29, 2018), and (3) the first time an employee requests a copy of the notice.  The notice may be distributed electronically (i.e., via email).  Employers are not required to obtain signed acknowledgments confirming that employees received the notice.

The notice outlines the amount of earned sick leave, the acceptable reasons to use earned sick leave, guidelines for providing advance notice to employers, and the date accrual begins, among other employee rights.

The notice must be posted and distributed in any language that the employer believes is the first language of a majority of the employer’s workforce. The NJDOL website released the notice in English and 12 additional languages, including Spanish and Chinese.

If you have any questions regarding the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave law or the required Notice of Employee Rights, please contact your labor and employment counsel at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.