NJBIA President & CEO Michele N. Siekerka Esq. issued the following statement today regarding Gov. Murphy’s signing of Paid Sick Leave legislation (A-1827/S-2171)
“The New Jersey Business & Industry Association has monitored this bill for several years now and has worked with our policymakers to ensure that any such bill takes into consideration the impacts it will have on those who need to operate by it: New Jersey business owners. We appreciate the substantial amendments to this legislation, made by its sponsors, which will mitigate impacts on well-intended employers.
“NJBIA has long maintained that the majority of New Jersey businesses already have sick-time policies in place because they want to ensure a healthy and productive workforce. However, with Governor Murphy campaigning on the promise of a paid sick leave mandate, it was critical that key exemptions from earlier versions of this legislation were made.
“Among the important amendments in this legislation that we advocated for are 40 hours of paid sick leave per year, down from 72 hours of paid sick leave originally requested in the bill, as well as the acceptance of many existing paid time off plans already offered by employers before the mandate. The original bill also allowed employers to require workers to submit a doctor’s note for sick time they take, but the employer would have been obligated to pay the employee’s out-of-pocket costs for obtaining one. That requirement has been removed.
“The new state law also fully pre-empts several local paid sick leave ordinances adopted in recent years, allowing for businesses to follow one, uniform statewide policy. Per diem healthcare workers are also exempt from the policy. Employees are also not eligible to use paid sick leave until 120 calendar days from the time they start. Employers can also prohibit employees from using foreseeable paid sick leave on certain “blackout” dates.
“While we have historically opposed this mandate, NJBIA appreciates these important amendments, the deliberation taken by the bills’ sponsors to understand its impacts on businesses and for working in the spirit of compromise, while achieving their overall goal.”