For the vast majority of workers in New Jersey, the law with regard to paid sick leave is about to change. On May 2, 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a bill that will take effect on Oct. 29, 2018 and require almost all Garden State employers to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave to their workers. The law makes New Jersey the 10th state, in addition to the District of Columbia, to have a paid sick leave law on the books. The Governor’s Office declared the law to be “one of the most expansive paid sick leave programs in the nation.” As with any employment right guaranteed by New Jersey law, it may sometimes be necessary to go to court to protect and enforce those rights. Whether it is paid sick leave, overtime, minimum wage, discrimination, or sexual harassment, if you think you have been harmed on the job by illegal conduct, contact a knowledgeable New Jersey employment attorney about your situations and the options available to you.
The new law will allow workers to accumulate one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work, up to a maximum of 40 hours. Most employers already offered paid sick leave to their workers, but one-third of the state’s workforce (approximately 1.2 million people) didn’t have access to paid sick leave, according to nj.com.
The new law will allow workers to use their paid sick leave for a variety of purposes. Seeking a diagnosis, care, treatment of, or recovery from your own mental illness or physical condition is obviously included. So is preventative care. You can also use your leave for the diagnosis, treatment, recovery, or preventative care of a loved one. If you or a family member has been a victim of domestic violence or sexual violence, the process of seeking services related to that violence is something for which you can use your paid sick leave. A “public health emergency” also qualifies. Thus, if, for example, officials close your office or your child’s school due to a flu outbreak, you can use your leave for this. “A school-related meeting or event with regard to” your child is also on the list.
A few groups are excluded. They include per diem health care workers, public employees who already have sick leave benefits, and construction workers whose employment is governed by an applicable collective bargaining agreement.
What if your employer does not comply with the new law even after it goes into effect? The statute says that any failure to pay an employee entitled to be paid under this law will “be regarded as a failure to meet the wage payment requirements of the ‘New Jersey State Wage and Hour Law.’” New Jersey law allows certain wage-and-hour plaintiffs to obtain both their unpaid wages and liquidated damages, which can amount to double the amount of lost wages.
When you believe that your employer has violated the law with regard to paying you overtime, sick leave, or the minimum wage, the law creates options for you to obtain those wages duly owed to you. The diligent New Jersey wage-and-hour attorneys at Phillips & Associates have been working diligently to protect and advance the rights of workers in this state for many years. Contact us online or at (609) 436-9087 today to set up a free and confidential consultation and to find out how we can help you.
More blog posts:
When You Are Entitled to Receive Additional Pay in New Jersey Even If You Are an ‘Exempt’ Employee, New Jersey Employment Lawyer Blog, Feb. 27, 2018
Contract’s Arbitration Provision Doesn’t Stop New Jersey Dancer from Pursuing Her Minimum Wage Lawsuit, New Jersey Employment Lawyer Blog, Oct. 16, 2017