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)

M. Siekerka

Michele Siekerka, President & CEO

“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.”

12 responses to “NJBIA Statement on Paid Sick Leave Legislation”

  1. Barbara Leung says:

    Right now, our company allows for 4 paid sick days per year. Does this mean, we will have to change it to 5 days per year? (# of employees 42)

    • Almost all employers are required to provide paid sick leave. There is no minimum number of employees an employer needs to have for the Paid Sick Leave Law to apply, i.e. there is no small business exemption.

      Employees earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked starting on October 29, 2018 (the law’s effective date), or the date the employee is hired, whichever is later. Employees can earn a maximum of 40 hours over a 12 month consecutive period established by the employer. To the extent, that employees are not able to earn those 40 hours, your policies will need to be changed.

      NJBIA’s Member Action Center has compliance documents and business consultants on-hand to assist member employers in interpreting the law. Please feel free to email us at member411@njbia.org if you are a member company needing some information.

      • Bob says:

        Can you clarify the 30 hours worked=1 hour sick time? Is that 30 hours per week or 30 hours accumulated over any period of time?

        Can you also clarify “black-out” days? Does that mean certain days can be designated as blackout days?

        • Employees earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked starting on October 29, 2018 (the law’s effective date), or the date the employee is hired, whichever is later. Employees can earn a maximum of 40 hours over a 12 month consecutive period established by the employer. The time is accumulated over the benefit year.

          Employers can establish black-out days where paid sick leave cannot be used such as in particularly busy times for the business. However, paid sick leave can only be denied on those days if the need for the leave is “foreseeable.” If the need is not foreseeable and an employee is absent on one of those days, an employer can ask for reasonable documentation like a doctor’s note.

          NJBIA’s Member Action Center has compliance documents and business consultants on-hand to assist member employers in interpreting the law. Please feel free to email us at member411@njbia.org if you are a member company needing some information.

  2. Janet Leblein says:

    So does this new law apply to employers of less than 50 employees?

    • Almost all employers are required to provide paid sick leave. There is no minimum number of employees an employer needs to have for the Paid Sick Leave Law to apply, i.e. there is no small business exemption.

      Only three groups of employees are not covered by the law:
      (1) those in the construction industry that are under contract with a collective bargaining agreement;
      (2) per diem healthcare employees; and,
      (3) public employees who are provided with sick leave under another law, rule, or regulation.

      NJBIA’s Member Action Center has compliance documents and business consultants on-hand to assist member employers in interpreting the law. Please feel free to email us at member411@njbia.org if you are a member company needing some information.

  3. Ron V. says:

    Who else will be exempt from this bill. Will they be listed ? Bargaining unit employees (Union Represented) ? NJ – Federal, State, County, municipal employees ? At what level business ( large, medium, small, ) does it begin , end or be exempt ?

    • Almost all employers are required to provide paid sick leave. There is no minimum number of employees an employer needs to have for the Paid Sick Leave Law to apply, i.e. there is no small business exemption.

      Only three groups of employees are not covered by the law:
      (1) those in the construction industry that are under contract with a collective bargaining agreement;
      (2) per diem healthcare employees; and,
      (3) public employees who are provided with sick leave under another law, rule, or regulation.

      NJBIA’s Member Action Center has compliance documents and business consultants on-hand to assist member employers in interpreting the law. Please feel free to email us at member411@njbia.org if you are a member company needing some information.

  4. Jerry Newler says:

    SAME QUESTION AS ABOVE, DOES THIS APPLY TO EMPLOYERS WITH LESS THAN 50 EMPLOYEES?

    • Almost all employers are required to provide paid sick leave. There is no minimum number of employees an employer needs to have for the Paid Sick Leave Law to apply, i.e. there is no small business exemption.

      Only three groups of employees are not covered by the law:
      (1) those in the construction industry that are under contract with a collective bargaining agreement;
      (2) per diem healthcare employees; and,
      (3) public employees who are provided with sick leave under another law, rule, or regulation.

      NJBIA’s Member Action Center has compliance documents and business consultants on-hand to assist member employers in interpreting the law. Please feel free to email us at member411@njbia.org if you are a member company needing some information.

  5. John Costa says:

    How does this apply to a business like myself who offers generic paid time off, rather than individual sick, vacation and personal time? Do I have to specify sick time?

    • Employers can still provide a PTO bank which includes a combination of personal days, vacation days, and sick days, etc., as long as the time can be used for the same reasons and accrues at the same rate (or faster) than it does under the Paid Sick Leave Law.

      NJBIA’s Member Action Center has compliance documents and business consultants on-hand to assist member employers in interpreting the law. Please feel free to email us at member411@njbia.org if you are a member company needing some information.