New Jersey’s new Paid Sick Leave Act was passed earlier this month (May, 2018). This law will affect just about every private employer and employee in New Jersey! It becomes effective on October 29, 2018. Under the Act, all NJ employers must provide sick leave benefits except public employers that are otherwise required to provide sick leave benefits. All NJ employees working “for compensation” are covered by the Act except employees in the construction industry employed under a collective bargaining agreement, per diem healthcare employees and public employees who already have sick leave benefits.
Can accrued sick time be carried over to the next benefit year and if so, to what extent? That depends . . .
Employers that "frontload" the entire amount of sick time (ie. the full 40 hours of sick leave accrues on the first day of the benefit year) have the choice of either paying the employee for the full amount of unused accrued sick time in the final month of the employer’s benefit year or carrying forward any unused sick time to the next benefit year. Employee approval of this choice is not required.
Employees that accrue sick leave over time must be permitted carry up to 40 hours of accrued, unused sick time to the next benefit year. Employers may, but are not obligated to, offer to pay employees for their unused accrued sick time in the final month of the benefit year. If the employee agrees to receive the payment, the employee may choose a payment for the full amount of their unused accrued sick time or for 50 percent of such time.
What happens to unused, accrued sick leave upon separation? Unless the employer has a policy or collective bargaining agreement providing for the payment of accrued sick leave upon termination, resignation, retirement or other separation from employment, there is no requirement that the employer pay employees for unused accrued sick leave upon the separation from employment.
What happens to unused, accrued sick leave if a former employee is reinstated to employment? If a former employee is reinstated within six months of separation, all of the employee’s unused and accrued sick time must be reinstated.
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