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 goes into effect on October 29, 2018.

For what reasons may paid sick time be used?

Employees can use accrued sick time for the following reasons:

        Diagnosis, care, or treatment of, or recovery from, an employee’s own mental or physical illness, including preventive medical care;

        Aid or care for a covered family member during diagnosis, care, or treatment of, or recovery from, the family member’s mental or physical illness, including preventive medical care;

        Circumstances related to an employee’s or their family member’s status as a victim of domestic or sexual violence (including the need to obtain related medical treatment, seek counseling, relocate, or participate in related legal services);

        Closure of an employee’s workplace or of a school/childcare of an employee’s child because of a public official’s order relating to a public health emergency; and

        Time to attend a meeting requested or required by school staff to discuss a child’s health condition or disability.

"Family member"  includes individuals related by blood to the employee or whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.

May an employer require advance notice and documentation?

If sick leave is foreseeable, employers may require advance notice, not to exceed 7 calendar days, of the intent to use leave and its expected duration. Employers may require employees to make reasonable efforts to schedule the use of sick leave in a manner that does not unduly disrupt the employer's operations and may prohibit employees from using foreseeable sick leave on certain dates. Employers may also require reasonable documentation if sick leave that is unforeseeable is used during those dates.

If sick leave is unforeseeable, employers may require employees to give notice of the intention to use the leave as soon as practicable, provided that the employer has notified the employee of this requirement.

What if an employee is absent for 3 consecutive days or more? The employer may require documentation confirming the employee used sick leave for a covered purpose.

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