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New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Law Enacted, Local Laws Preempted

BY: APA Staff | 05/18/18

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a bill into law requiring employers to provide paid sick leave (PSL). The law will take effect on October 29, 2018, and will be enforced by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development [A.B. 1827, L. 2018].

One State Law

New Jersey is the tenth state to enact PSL requirements. The other states are: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island (effective July 1, 2018), Vermont, and Washington.

The New Jersey law preempts existing local PSL ordinances. This means that employers will have to comply with one state law, rather than many local ordinances. Currently, 13 cities in New Jersey have PSL requirements: Bloomfield, East Orange, Elizabeth, Irvington, Jersey City, Montclair, Morristown, New Brunswick, Newark, Passaic, Paterson, Plainfield, and Trenton. The state law also prevents additional municipalities from enacting future PSL ordinances.

Accrual

Employees will accrue one hour of PSL for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours in a year. Employers may “front-load” leave – meaning they may provide employees with the full amount of PSL for a benefit year on the first day of the benefit year. Employers cannot be required to permit an employee to carry over more than 40 hours of PSL from one year to the next.

Accrual will begin on the effective date of the law (October 29, 2018). Employees will be eligible to use accrued PSL on the 120th calendar day after employment begins, unless an employer agrees to an earlier date. An employee can use earned PSL as soon as it is accrued. 

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