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Kates Nussman Rapone Ellis & Farhi, LLP

Paid Sick Leave in NJ? Not Much Chance.

Some businesses may have to give paid earned sick leave to their employees if a bill in the New Jersey State Assembly becomes law.

The bill, first introduced in February 2014, was recently approved by the Assembly Budget Committee and the Assembly Labor Committee. It would require employers to give one hour of paid earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked for each employee. For employers with less than 10 employees, the amount could be capped at 40 hours per year and for those with more than 10, the cap would be 72 hours per year. Each new employee would begin to accrue this earned sick leave only after 90 days of work. So long as the employee is still employed at the time he/she uses the leave, after the 90 days pass, he/she will get it, whether or not transferred to a different division or location.

If an employee is fired, but hired back within six months, any unused earned sick leave would be reinstated upon that hiring. The bill would allow businesses to offer to pay an employee for unused earned sick leave in the final month of the "benefit year," to prevent a worker from rolling the leave over into the new year. Also, an employer could offer to buy total amount of unused leave, or 50 percent of unused leave at the employee's normal pay. If the employee refuses, he could carry his unused sick leave into the next year.

This law, has clearly been moving at a "snail's pace" for the past year. That reflects its chances of becoming law. And with a Republican Governor running for President, this Democrat-sponsored "snail" will remain in its shell for quite some time. With the collaboration of Connor Turpan, Rutgers School of Law Newark candidate for a JD degree in May 2016 and Associate Editor on the Rutgers Computer and Technology Law Journal.

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