New Jersey Sick Leave Goes into Effect
As NJ initiates paid sick leave, The Bottom Line examines the requirements for business owners, the five reasons for which employees can use sick leave, and what business owners should be doing now to ensure a smooth implementation.
Dave Plaskow: Hello and welcome to The Bottom Line. This podcast examines the everyday business and finance issues faced by closely held and private businesses. We hope to provide you with news you can use in what we like to think of as a jargon-free zone. I'm your host, Dave Plaskow, and with us as Tim Schuster, a Manager in EisnerAmper Private Business Services Group. Today we'll discuss the new paid sick leave act that's going into effect in New Jersey. Tim, hello.
Tim Schuster: Dave. It's great to see you.
DP: Tim, when does the new paid sick leave act go into effect for New Jersey businesses?
TS: It began on October 29, 2018.
DP: What are the requirements of business owners?
TS: Employers must provide one hour of sick leave for all employees, which includes full, part-time and per diem employees for every 30 hours worked, with a maximum accumulation of up to 40 hours during a benefit fiscal year, which is chosen by the employer. The law also allows the employee to carry over up to a maximum of 40 hours of unused sick leave. Employers also have the option to pay out the unused sick leave.
DP: And what can employees use this paid sick leave for?
TS: There's several reasons that you're allowed to use any of the sick leave. One is probably the most obvious—an employee's own personal medical treatment, diagnosis, recovery or preventative care. Workplace, school or childcare is closed by order of public official due to public health emergency. If the health of an employee or family member could have negative impacts on the health of others to attend a school-related activity, meetings or functions that are requested or required by a school. A family member’s—which the state does define as any person with whom the employee has a significant personal bond that is or is like a family relationship regardless of biological or legal relationship--need for medical treatment, diagnosis, recovery or preventative care. And lastly, family member or employee's need for medical attention, legal services related to an incident of sexual or domestic violence.
DP: It's pretty comprehensive. So what should business owners be doing right now to get ready?
TS: A big item of note is a lot of specifics and technical items of the law will be ironed out after the law goes into effect, which puts businesses at a massive disadvantage. I would advise keeping in touch with your trusted advisor or payroll services on any changes. If you are a company that already offers paid time off that complies with the act for your workers, you are exempt from these changes. So you're okay. My advice now is to speak to your trusted advisor to compare your current policies to what is known about the law to make sure your business is compliance.
DP: Tim, give us one of your famous New Jersey Historical Society fun facts.
TS: On November 20th, 1789, New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights. The first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution. Of the 12 articles proposed, New Jersey actually approved 11.
DP: Interesting. Well thank you for this valuable information. And thank you for listening to The Bottom Line as part of the EisnerAmper podcast series. If you have any questions or there's a topic you'd like us to cover, email us at contactateisneramper.com and visit eisneramper.com for more information on this and a host of other topics. And join us for our next EisnerAmper podcast when we get down to business.
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