Jersey City Expands Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

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Jersey City’s mayor and council have amended the city’s paid sick leave ordinance, expanding the law’s mandates.  Originally passed in 2013, the city’s paid sick leave ordinance was the first in New Jersey to require employers to provide mandatory paid sick leave to their full-time employees.

The current amendments expand the definition of “employee” to include part-time and temporary employees and any individual engaged in work activity that would be considered “employment” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  As a result of this change, part-time and temporary employees who work 80 hours in a calendar year in Jersey City can earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.  These employees can earn 40 hours of paid sick leave per year, and these hours carry over to the next calendar year, although the employee may not be entitled to use more than 40 hours of paid sick time in a calendar year.

The ordinance also requires employers with less than 10 employees to allow their employees to accrue paid sick time up to 24 hours per year and unpaid sick time of up to 16 hours per year; previously, employers with less than 10 employees only needed to provide unpaid sick leave to their workers.  The amendments increase the fine for a violation from $1,250 to $2,000.  The new ordinance is set to take effect on December 29, 2015.
Jersey City’s amendments may require employers to update their policies to allow additional workers to earn and carry over paid sick leave.  For assistance with revising your company’s paid time off policies, please contact Connell Foley’s labor and employment law attorneys.