For the first time in state history, paid sick leave will soon be available to most New Jersey employees under a sweeping new law that Governor Phil Murphy signed on May 2, 2018. The New Jersey Earned Sick and Safe Days Act (A-1827) (the “Act”), which goes into effect on October 29, 2018, provides the vast majority of New Jersey’s private sector workers with mandatory paid sick leave benefits. New Jersey joins nine other states in addition to the District of Columbia to offer a statewide paid sick leave policy. Once it takes effect, the Act will supersede local sick leave ordinances currently enacted by 13 New Jersey municipalities.
The key provisions of the law and their impact on employers doing business in New Jersey are summarized below:
Who is Covered: The Act applies to all private employers with employees in New Jersey, including temporary help firms, irrespective of company size. There is no exception for “small businesses” (i.e., businesses with 10 or less employees). Public employers already required to provide employees with sick leave pursuant to any other state law or regulation are not covered by the Act.
With only a few exceptions, the Act covers all employees engaged in service for compensation across all industries. Excluded from the Act are construction workers covered by collective bargaining agreements, per diem healthcare employees and public employees who already receive more generous sick leave under other state laws.