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Can your current PTO policy comply with NJ Sick Leave?

 

The NJ Sick Leave does recognize that many employers are already providing time off for employees. Is your policy in compliance?

“An employer shall be in compliance with this section if the employer offers paid time off, which is fully paid and shall include, but is not limited to personal days, vacation days, and sick days, and may be used for the purposes of section 3 of this act in the manner provided by this act, and is accrued at a rate equal to or greater than the rate described in this section.”

 

Are all of your employees eligible for paid time off?

“Employee means an individual engaged in service to an employer in the business of the employer for compensation.”

“Each employer shall provide earned sick leave to each employee working for the employer in the State.”

This means all categories of employees are eligible for the NJ Sick Leave. Full Time, Part Time, Temporary, Seasonal, Per Diem, etc. Those who get a paycheck or a W2 should be considered for inclusion.

The only exclusions are:
– Does not include construction industry under contract pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement
– Does not include Per Diem [hospital] health care employee (determine funding source)
– Does not include public employees who are provided with sick leave with full pay pursuant to any other law, rule or regulation of this State

 

Does your PTO policy have employees accrue time off at the rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked?

“Each employer shall provide earned sick leave to each employee working for the employer in the State. For every 30 hours worked, the employee shall accrue one hour of earned sick leave, except that an employer may provide an employee with the full complement of earned sick leave for a benefit year, as required under this section, on the first day of each benefit year in accordance with subsection c. or subsection d. of section 3 of this act.”

The traditional accepted accrual for this would be 0.0333333 per hour. If your rate is anything different from this contact your Primepoint team and have it adjusted to meet the requirement.


Does the definition of “family” support the NJ Sick Leave?
"Family member" means a child, grandchild, sibling, spouse, 31 domestic partner, civil union partner, parent, or grandparent of an employee, or a spouse, domestic partner, or civil union partner of a parent or grandparent of the employee, or a sibling of a spouse, domestic partner, or civil union partner of the employee, or any other individual related by blood to the employee or whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.”

The definition of "family member" is quite extensive. Be sure your policy can meet the expectations.


Does the paid time off have restrictions?
Giving notice 6 months in advance, only using the time for the employee illness or only being able to use in specified increments…your paid time off has to meet the law. An employee has to be allowed to use it for the items listed in the law and at the time that they need it which could be the morning they wake up sick or their child wakes up sick. In some organizations, employees are required to request time off months in advance. If this is the case for you then your current paid time off would not meet the standard. It can, however, be updated prior to October 29th.


Do you “use it or lose it”?
“The employer shall not be required to permit the employee to accrue or use in any benefit year, or carry forward form one benefit year to the next, more than 40 hour of earned sick leave.”
Are employees allowed to carry over unused time? Can they carry up to 40 hours into the new benefit year? With the NJ Sick Leave Law employees have to be able to carry over up to 40 hours. If your plan allows them to carry more then you are complaint. You cannot “lose” the time. Be sure to check your wording.

 

So your paid time off could work. Check with your legal council to be sure you are in compliance!