Several measures have been passed or introduced on both the state and federal level to provide paid sick days and paid family and medical leave for workers.
New Jersey Legislation & Laws
New Jersey is leading the way in local and state policy changes to provide working families with increased economic and job security through earned sick days, family leave and increased minimum wage and other laws.
New Jersey Municipal Earned Sick Days Laws
All private sector workers in Jersey City can earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours (5 days) of sick time per year in establishments with 10 or more employees. Establishments with less than 10 employees can earn up to 24 hours of paid sick time per year.
In the Fall of 2014, the momentum for earned sick days swept over New Jersey and various municipalities enacted an Earned Sick Day Ordinance similar to that of Newark
New Jersey State Legislation & Law
The bills, which passed both the Assembly and Senate in 2016 and are sitting on the Govenor's desk, raise the minimum wage from the current $8.38 to $10.10 on Jan. 1, 2017, and then by more than $1.25 an hour until 2021. After 2021, the wage floor would increase annually based on changes in the consumer price index.
The last increase was approved November 5, 2013 when New Jersey voters voted for a constitutional amendment to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.25! The amendment also includes an automatic cost-of-living increase each year. The change took effect January 1, 2014.
Proposed bill will allow parents/guardians to attend or participate in school functions or activities of a child of the employee, or accompany the child to medical-related appointments. This bill will also allow parents to take leave in increments as short as two hours.
These bills will provide earned sick leave to workers in New Jersey. For every 30 hours worked, the employee shall accrue one hour of earned sick leave. The employer shall not be required to permit the employee to accrue at any one time, or carry forward from one year to the next, more than 40 hours of earned sick leave if the employer is a small employer (less than 10 employees), or more than 72 hours of earned sick leave if the employer is not a small employer (10 or more employees). The employee may use earned sick leave as it is accrued. There are some differences between the bills, A1446 and A2354, regarding the issue of preemption.
This bill increases the minimum hourly wage that must be paid to employees who customarily and regularly receive gratuities or tips. The bill provides that, after Dec. 31, 2014, an employer may claim a credit for gratuities or tips received by an employee against the hourly wage rate paid to the employee in an amount not to exceed 60 percent of the minimum hourly wage rate required by law, and after Dec. 31, 2015, an employer may claim a credit for gratuities and tips in an amount not to exceed 31 percent of the minimum hourly wage rate required by law.
The bill (A-3912) would amend the "New Jersey State Wage and Hour Law" to clarify that no state or federal minimum wage law shall prevent a county or municipality from establishing and enforcing a higher wage standard unless the state or federal law expressly prohibits the county or municipality from adopting such a change.
Other State & Municipal Laws
New York City Council passed the Earned Sick Time Act in June 2013. The bill has since been strengthened with the support of Mayor Bill de Blasio, as well as with the support from the majority of the City Council on February 26, 2014. The new and improved Earned Sick Time Act is effective beginning on April 1, 2014. Click here for the New York Earned Sick Time Fact Sheet
The Healthy Families Act would guarantee workers up to seven paid sick days a year to recover from their own illness or to care for a sick family member, and provides paid sick time for diagnostic and medical appointments
The FAMILY Act, introduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in the Senate and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) in the House of Representatives, would create a paid family leave fund like California’s at the federal level. The bill would provide workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave for their own serious illness; to care for a child, parent or spouse with a serious illness; or to bond with a new child. Workers and employers would each contribute a very small portion of their wages into this insurance program; the self-sustaining fund would mean workers could receive up to 66 percent of their wages while on leave.
The Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act of 2009 will provide that 4 of the 12 weeks of parental leave made available to a Federal employee shall be paid leave, and for other purposes.