Search form

New Jersey Legislative Update: Paid Sick Leave Bill Stalls Again, But Minimum Wage Hike Advances

By James M. McDonnell
  • June 6, 2016

New Jersey legislators have delayed a vote on the Paid Sick Leave Act to allow the Assembly and Senate a chance to settle their disputes over the bill’s impact on small employers and its preemptive effect on municipal ordinances mandating paid sick leave. These are the same issues that led to failure of the March 2016 vote in the legislature.

Under the bill, private and public employers must provide their employees with one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked.

In March, the Senate approved amending the bill to permit employee paid-time off (PTO) policies (which provide vacation, sick, and personal days off) to satisfy the requirements under the proposed law. The legislators, however, have not reached consensus on the preemptive effect of the Paid Sick Leave Act on municipal ordinances requiring paid sick leave. Currently, at least a dozen municipalities in the Garden State have local ordinances mandating employers with a minimum number of employees to provide paid sick leave. (For an example, see our article, Jersey City, New Jersey, Extends Paid Sick Leave Requirements to More Employers.)

Minimum Wage Bill

The New Jersey State Assembly has passed a bill that will raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, following phased-in increases, and tie future increases to the consumer price index. The bill will raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour effective January 1, 2017, then will require annual increases of $1.25 per year (or $1.00 per year plus any increase in the consumer price index) until 2021. The New Jersey State Senate is considering a similar bill from the Labor Committee.

The Assembly bill now moves to the Senate, where it is expected to pass. Lawmakers, in response to looming veto threats from the governor, reportedly will propose a referendum to put the minimum wage increase to the voters for a state constitutional amendment should the governor exercise his veto.

New Jersey employers should consider contingency plans now. A review of staffing, budgets, and leave policies may be appropriate given the potentially significant change.

Please contact Jackson Lewis for assistance or questions on workplace developments.

©2016 Jackson Lewis P.C. This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Jackson Lewis and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Reproduction of this material in whole or in part is prohibited without the express prior written consent of Jackson Lewis P.C., a law firm with more than 900 attorneys in major cities nationwide serving clients across a wide range of practices and industries. Having built its reputation on providing premier workplace law representation to management, the firm has grown to include leading practices in the areas of government relations, healthcare and sports law. For more information, visit www.jacksonlewis.com.

See AllRelated Articles You May Like

April 19, 2019

Massachusetts Releases Paid Family and Medical Leave Employee Template Notices

April 19, 2019

The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) has released template notices employers may use to fulfill the notice requirement to employees and 1099-MISC independent contractors under the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA), G.L. c. 175M. Employers must provide a notice to their current workforce by... Read More

April 17, 2019

Kentucky Adopts Pregnant Workers Act

April 17, 2019

Beginning June 27, 2019, Kentucky employers must provide reasonable accommodations to employees who are limited due to pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions, unless it would impose an undue hardship on the employer to do so. The Kentucky Pregnant Workers Act amends the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KCRA) and applies to... Read More

April 4, 2019

New York Employees Get Up To Three Hours of Paid Time Off to Vote

April 4, 2019

A revision to New York’s election law gives workers in the state up to three hours of paid time off to vote, Governor Andrew Cuomo highlighted in an announcement released on April 1, 2019, about New York’s enacted budget for fiscal year 2020. Effective immediately, the New York Election Law § 3-110 reads as follows: A registered... Read More