Pension & Benefits News NJ Labor Department publishes proposed earned sick leave rules
Thursday, October 11, 2018

NJ Labor Department publishes proposed earned sick leave rules

By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has published proposed rules that would implement the state’s new earned sick leave law. The law goes into effect on October 29.

The Labor Department engaged informally with worker organizations and employer groups before drafting the rule proposal. The 42-page document was filed with the Office of Administrative Law on September 13 and will be published in the New Jersey Register on October 15, kicking off a 60-day comment period.

Once finalized, the rules will provide a regulatory framework for the Department to administer the earned sick leave law. The rules also will serve as a blueprint for employers on how to comply with the law and for employees on their rights under the law.

“Having access to paid sick days means that New Jersey workers no longer have to lose a day’s pay to stay home sick or to care for a sick child or parent,” said Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “We decided to post the rule proposal a month before it is published formally in the New Jersey Register to give employers and employees as much information as we can as soon as possible about how earned sick time will be accrued, used, paid, and carried over.”

In addition to permitting employees to care for themselves and their loved ones, the law also permits victims of domestic violence to use their leave to obtain treatment and counseling.

The rule proposal is available on the Labor Department’s website: Proposed Earned Sick Leave Rules N.J.A.C. 12:69.

The proposed new rules include general provisions, including purpose and scope, and address: violations, administrative penalties and fees, interest, hearings; the Act’s prohibition against retaliatory personnel actions and discrimination; recordkeeping requirements; notice to employees of their rights under the law; the method for determining independent contractor status under the law; the process for filing a complaint; definitions; the manner in which employers are to provide earned sick leave to employees, including accrual, use, payment, payout and carry over of earned sick leave; and requirements regarding establishment by the employer of a benefit year, notification to the Commissioner of a proposed change in a benefit year, and the circumstances under which the Commissioner may impose a benefit year upon the employer.

Public hearing. A public hearing on the rule proposal will be held at 10 am on Tuesday, November 13, in the Labor Department’s 13th Floor Auditorium, 1 John Fitch Plaza, Trenton, New Jersey.

The Department will accept written comments through December 14, 2018, to the following address: David Fish, Executive Director, Office of Legal and Regulatory Services, NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development, P.O. Box 110, 13th Floor, Trenton, NJ 08625-0110.

The Labor Department is charged with enforcing the law signed by Governor Murphy on May 2, making New Jersey one of 10 states to mandate that employers provide their employees with paid sick leave. The law also empowers the Department to implement the law through the promulgation of rules.

SOURCE: State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development Press Release, September 20, 2018.

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