New Jersey Assembly Committee Advances Paid Sick Leave Bill

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On October 27, 2014, the New Jersey Assembly Labor Committee advanced amended legislation that would require employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees.  The Legislature is joining a national and local trend to mandate paid sick leave in almost every workplace.

The bill would require employees to accrue one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year if the employer has fewer than 10 employees and up to 72 hours per year if the employer has 10 or more employees.  The employer would be required to pay the employee for earned sick leave at the employee’s normal rate of pay.  The bill provides for penalties for non-compliance with its requirements.

The Labor Committee made several amendments to the bill.  Among other changes, the Committee defined the term “benefit year” as a 12-month period established by the employer during which an employee accrues and uses earned sick leave.  It also specifically exempted from its purview construction employees who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

The proposed legislation is now before the Assembly Budget Committee for review.  It will need to be passed by the Assembly, then by the Senate, and finally by Governor Chris Christie before it becomes binding legislation.  Connell Foley’s labor and employment law attorneys will continue to track this bill.