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Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Approved in New Jersey’s Trenton, Montclair

On November 5, 2014 by Schnader in schnaderworks.com

By Harris Neal Feldman

Residents of both Trenton and Montclair voted to approve mandatory paid sick leave by employers in their respective municipalities, bringing the total number of municipalities in New Jersey that now have mandatory paid sick leave laws to eight.  The other six municipalities are East Orange, Irvington, Jersey City, Newark, Passaic, and Paterson.  

Currently, no New Jersey or federal law requires employers to provide paid sick leave. The New Jersey legislature has been working on a statewide analogue, but no such law is imminent.  Currently in the United States, only California and Connecticut have passed statewide mandatory paid sick leave laws.

These new municipal laws, generally modeled after the Newark law that went into effect earlier this year, will require employers with 10 or more employees to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year (effectively up to one week of sick leave); while employers having fewer than 10 employees, must provide up to 24 hours of paid sick leave (effectively up to 3 days of sick leave). 

There are exceptions, employer posting, and recordkeeping requirements, and fines; and these laws only set a floor for paid leave, meaning that employers remain free to provide better benefits for their employees.