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New Jersey Sick Time Law – Track By Hours Worked

New Jersey sick time lawNew Jersey is set to join several other states in a growing trend mandating employer paid sick time. The New Jersey sick time law goes into effect on October 29th, 2018 and employees will begin accruing sick time on that date. The new law creates one statewide standard and preempts any previously enacted municipal sick leave ordinances.

Sick Time Law Around the US

Federal law does not require that employers pay employees when they take off sick from work. However, many states have begun making their own laws so that employees can have this benefit. As of this writing, New Jersey is the 10th state in the nation to enact a paid sick time law. The states include:

  1. Arizona
  2. California
  3. Connecticut
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Michigan
  6. New Jersey
  7. Oregon
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Vermont
  10. Washington

Several cities, such as New York, also have sick time laws. The list of cities and states is rapidly growing.

New Jersey’s Paid Sick Leave Law

The New Jersey law is comparable to other state laws.

  • Every employer must offer the paid sick leave benefit to every employee. No employers are exempt and all employees are eligible.
  • Employers must offer employees 1 hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked. This can be capped at 40 hours. The time cannot be cleared out at the end of the year but it can be capped so that it stops accruing once it reaches 40 hours.
  • The sick time can accrue by hours worked or can be front loaded.
  • The law does not have to replace a company’s current PTO policy. If the company has a PTO, vacation, or sick time policy which offers at least 40 hours, then the company is in compliance with the law.
  • Employees can begin using the sick time after they have been with the company for 120 days.
  • Tipped employees must be paid at least the regular minimum wage for sick time, rather than the lower minimum wage for tipped employees.

For more information about what reasons qualify for sick pay and for other details, refer to the fact sheet.

FAQ

For answers to common questions about the law refer to this FAQ.

Staying Compliant With the Law

The paid sick time law requires that employees accrue 1 hour for each 30 hours worked, with a max of 40 hours. Employers can front load that 40 hours but this method will overcompensate part time employees. The best way to ensure you’re not overcompensating your employees is to track the sick time by their actual hours worked.

How to Simplify Sick Time Tracking

Tracking by hours worked would be a time consuming process without an online time off tracking system. Timesheets.com accruals tracking system tracks paid sick time automatically so you don’t have to do any conversions and calculations. It stores all the numbers too so a separate file for recordkeeping isn’t needed.

At Timesheets.com, we know that accruals can be confusing so we’re happy to help you understand the numbers and set up time off tracking for your employees. When you start your free trial, we will be in touch!

Let us help you set up sick time tracking! Learn more and start your free trial.

Free online timesheets

24 Comments

  1. Susan A
    Susan A May 15, 2019

    IF my company offers 10 sick/personal days in addition to my vacation can they legally give a write up if I use over 4 sick/pesonal days?

    • timesheets_blog
      timesheets_blog May 20, 2019

      I am a bit confused by your question. You mentioned that you receive 10 sick/personal days, and only used 4 of those days, meaning that you shouldn’t have a problem. If you used 14 sick/personal days altogether, that may be an issue at your workplace. I assume that your management created a sick time policy. If they put a “cap” of 80 sick/personal hours, then you may have gone over the “cap” amount. You may want to talk to management to understand what your sick time policy is.

  2. Linda Reed
    Linda Reed September 3, 2019

    My boss said that being that I’m Part time and only work 22 hrs a week I don’t get any sick time pay. They said I’d have to work 40 hrs a week to get an hr.sick time…is this true?

    • Lindsay Sommers
      Lindsay Sommers September 5, 2019

      This will depend on your state’s sick time policy. Most states require employers to give sick time to ALL employees, no matter their status. In California, for instance, an employee who works or 30 or more days within a year from the beginning of employment is entitled to accrue paid sick leave. Employees, including part-time and temporary employees, earn at least one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked.

      • JD
        JD April 15, 2020

        I recently quit a position with a private employer and I had earned sick time, am I eligible to get paid for the sick time I earned? Also last year I had 10 sick days acrued can an employer refuse to let me carry them over?

        • Lindsay Sommers
          Lindsay Sommers April 17, 2020

          New Jersey doesn’t require employers to pay out any vacation time or sick time; however, an if your contract states that your employer will pay you out, they must do so. To answer your question about your accrued sick days: your employer can choose whether or not they want to carry your hours over or not.

  3. Gg
    Gg September 10, 2019

    I am confused too.. if my part time employee took off , do I need to pay that 4 hours as sick time ?

    • Lindsay Sommers
      Lindsay Sommers September 12, 2019

      Every employee is entitled to sick time pay in New Jersey, no matter their status. If they employee took off hours as “sick time”, then they must get compensated for those hours. So you need to find out if the employee just didn’t work OR if the employee specifically took sick time.

  4. Gg
    Gg September 10, 2019

    One more question, I need to pay 1 hour of sick day for every 30 hours regardless they call sick or not? That means I need to pay additional amount of 30 to 40 hours?

    • Lindsay Sommers
      Lindsay Sommers September 12, 2019

      The sick time policy is only for the hours that the employee actually works; employees don’t accrue sick time hours while they’re not working. If the employee is not working hours, the employee will not accrue any sick time hours. For example, if an employee worked 20 hours and then took 8 hours of sick time in a week, the “by hours worked” rule would not count for the 8 hours of sick time that the employee took. Only the 20 hours would count towards the “by hours worked” accrual. In this specific employee’s case, she would have earned 0.66666 hours of sick time during the week. Here’s the calculation: 1/30= 0.033333; 0.033333 X 20 Hours= 0.6666666 hours.

  5. Suzanne conklin
    Suzanne conklin December 14, 2019

    Starting January 2020 as being a full time employee and working 40 hours do I have sick time the 1st of January. We are told that we have to work 10 weeks to accumulate one day

    • Lindsay Sommers
      Lindsay Sommers December 16, 2019

      Under law, employees can begin using the sick time after they have been with the company for 120 days. That being said, your employer can hold your sick time earnings until then. If you’re in New Jersey, you’ll start collecting 1 sick time hour for every 30 hours that you work.

  6. Inedrick
    Inedrick December 22, 2019

    State of NJ employee…if i used all of my sick days fir the yr as of Dec 2019….can they dock my pay if i become sick after that?? Flu etc??

    • Lindsay Sommers
      Lindsay Sommers December 24, 2019

      According to the US Department of Labor, an employer is allowed to deduct an employee’s pay “For absences of one or more full days due to sickness or disability if the deduction is made in accordance with a bona fide plan, policy or practice of providing compensation for salary lost due to illness”. To be sure, you can always contact your local labor board so they can assist you.

  7. Shonnie
    Shonnie January 14, 2020

    If one has accrued their 40 hours and depleted those 40 hours in one year, at the start of the following year, the employee has no sick time.

    Since accrual is capped at 40 hours, if you accrued and use all those hours by October 2019, at the start of 2020 there is no sick time because the accrual stopped in October.

    Is that correct?

    • Lindsay Sommers
      Lindsay Sommers January 14, 2020

      The cap is really dependent on when the employee’s policy went into place. If the employee’s accruals started in october, they would end in october, and the accrual process would start all over again. Whether you started in January, March, November, your accrual range is an entire year. If the employee got their hours front-loaded in october with 40 hours, they would get their new hours on the same day in the following year. The 40 hour cap basically means that they will stop accruing more sick hours after they obtain 40, but they will start accruing again once the cap year is over.

  8. Lilia Valdivia
    Lilia Valdivia February 4, 2020

    Question for New Jersey Sick Leave – are we supposed to include overtime hours worked towards the accrual rate or just the regular hours worked?
    for example if an employee worked 40 Reg. and 15 OT that’s a total of 55 hrs for that week so instead of 1.333 hours accrued its now 1.833?

    • timesheets_blog
      timesheets_blog February 5, 2020

      An hour worked is an hour worked, whether it’s overtime or not. You wouldn’t change the accrual rate for an overtime hour.

  9. Stacy butterman
    Stacy butterman July 18, 2020

    I work at a restaurant, in which I realized I have 116 hours of sick time. The owner has never mentioned that I can use these hours. I have called out sick before and he never mentioned or paid me for that sick day. So when I confront him about it , can he say deny that these hours are mine to use.

    • Lindsay Sommers
      Lindsay Sommers July 21, 2020

      interesting question. I assume you’re in New Jersey– You get 40 hours of sick time yearly (which is 1 sick time hour for every 30 hours you work). If you have sick time hours available, your employer should use your allotted sick time hours when you’re out sick, which means you should get paid for those hours that you’re not at work. Do you have an HR rep that you can speak with at work?

      • Stacy butterman
        Stacy butterman July 30, 2020

        No is a small family owned business

        • Lindsay Sommers
          Lindsay Sommers July 31, 2020

          Okay. If that’s the case I would suggest that you have a conversation with your employer about your sick time policy. You’re legally obligated to the sick hours you earn, so he can’t deny you from using them.

  10. Sarmite
    Sarmite July 23, 2020

    how sick pay is paid for commission people?

    • Lindsay Sommers
      Lindsay Sommers July 27, 2020

      Commission-based employees get 1 hour of sick pay every 30 hours worked just like other employees covered under the NJ Earned Sick Leave Law. Your pay rate for this calculation will be the hourly base wage or the state minimum wage– whatever is greater.

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