New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act Signed into Law

July 17, 2018  |  No Comments  |  by bertonepiccini  |  Company News

On May 2, 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act, becoming the tenth State to enact a mandatory sick leave law.  The Act preempts all local paid sick leave laws which were previously enacted in thirteen municipalities throughout the State.  Moreover, the Act prohibits any New Jersey county or municipality from adopting “any ordinance, resolution, law, rule, or regulation regarding earned sick leave” after the law goes into effect.  With limited exceptions, the Act is applicable to all New Jersey employers.  The Act does not apply to public employees (as they are subject to separate leave laws), per diem health care workers and union construction workers.

To provide employers a period of time (180 days) to understand the law and become compliant, the Act’s effective date is October 29, 2018.  Thereafter, accrual of sick leave will occur at the rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per benefit year, permitting covered employees the ability to use earned leave 120 days following enactment and, for employees hired after October 29, 2018, 120 days following commencement of employment.  Employees may carry over up to 40 hours of unused earned paid sick leave to the following year, but will only be able to use 40 hours of leave during any year.  Upon separation from employment, unused earned paid sick leave need not be converted into compensation or time owed to employees, unless the employer has in place a policy or procedure which dictates otherwise.

The Act permits employees to use earned paid sick leave for any of the following:

  • Diagnosis, care, treatment of, or recovery from the employee’s mental or physical health condition, including preventive care;
  • Diagnosis, care, treatment of, or recovery from a family member’s mental or physical health condition, including preventive care;
  • Time needed for employees or their family members’ condition as a victim of domestic or sexual violence, including counseling, legal services, or participation in civil or criminal proceedings;
  • Closure of the workplace, school, or childcare by order of a public official due to a public health concern; and
  • Attendance at a school-related conference or meeting.

The Act expansively defines the term “family member” to include an employee’s “child, grandchild, sibling, spouse, domestic partner, civil union partner, parent, or grandparent of an employee, or a spouse, domestic partner, or civil union partner of a parent or grandparent of the employee, or a sibling of a spouse, domestic partner, or civil union partner of the employee, or any other individual related by blood to the employee or whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.”

In terms of compliance, a number of alternative options are available.  Employers can monetarily compensate employees in the final month of any benefit year for the full amount of unused earned leave or up to 50% of the amount, with any accrued leave balance carrying over to the following year.  Moreover, Employers can elect to forego the accrual process and instead frontload employees with the full complement of earned sick leave for a benefit year, on the first day of such year.   For many employers that currently possess policies which offer employees paid time off, which includes sick days, such policies need to be updated to reflect and incorporate requirements under the Act.

For a leave of three days or more, an employer may require reasonable documentation to verify such leave is permissible.  Following the Act’s effective date, Employers are required to provide reasonable notification of the Act to employees by conspicuously posting the notification in a place accessible to employees, as well as providing each employee with written notification.

Employers that do not comply with the Act, and/or retaliate against any employee who utilizes benefits under the Act, can be liable for back pay; liquidated damages, which doubles the amount of wages lost; and attorneys’ fees.  Knowledge of the law, prevention and education are key components for employer success.

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If you would like additional information, please contact:

Marc W. Garbar, Esq., at 201-399-7234 (mgarbar@bertonepiccini.com)

We are pleased to announce the addition of our newest of counsel to our firm’s Real Estate, Redevelopment, Land Use and Business Practice Groups:

July 27, 2017  |  No Comments  |  by bertonepiccini  |  Company News

SEAN R. MCGOWAN concentrates his practice on all facets of real estate, real estate development and property management, including redevelopment, land use planning and zoning, real estate transactions, commercial lending, landlord-tenant and general business representation.  Prior to joining Bertone Piccini, SEAN was Vice-President of Development and Legal Affairs for a large New Jersey based commercial developer where he oversaw the development and entitlement process for over 2,000 multifamily residential units, retail and warehouse space, while also helping the company to navigate the various legal and business issues that developers face on a day-to-day basis.  SEAN now brings the “business-first” approach that he developed while in-house to his private clients at Bertone Piccini.  SEAN has also operated his own private law practice for the past six years, so working with a variety of clients is not new to him, and he prides himself on his commitment to open and frequent communication with his clients.  Accordingly, SEAN brings wide scope experience to the firm stemming from a variety of matters throughout his career.  SEAN is admitted to the bar of the State of New Jersey and is in the process of re-activating his New York bar license.

We are pleased to announce the addition of our newest of counsel to our firm’s Real Estate Practice group and Business Practice Group:

June 29, 2017  |  No Comments  |  by bertonepiccini  |  Company News

Sharon Reider Babb concentrates her practice on complex commercial real estate and commercial lending transactions.  In her sophisticated commercial real estate practice, Sharon advises companies with respect to property leasing, acquisition, lending, construction and development.  She represents landlords/tenants, borrowers/lenders, buyers and sellers on a national, regional or local basis.  Sharon uses her business background and experience in both major law firms and as an in-house attorney to counsel clients on a solution tailored to meet each client’s needs on a cost-effective basis.  Sharon is admitted to the bars of the State of New Jersey and the State of New York, as well as the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey and Southern District of New York.

Bertone Piccini LLP welcomes its 2017 summer associate class!

June 5, 2017  |  No Comments  |  by bertonepiccini  |  Company News

Today, Bertone Piccini LLP welcomes its 2017 summer associate class of three law students! Please join me in welcoming Michael Cort, James Maroules, and Anthony Solano, all from Seton Hall University School of Law.

We are pleased to announce the addition of our newest of counsel to our firm’s Real Estate Practice group and Business Practice Group:

January 19, 2017  |  No Comments  |  by bertonepiccini  |  Company News

DANIEL A. GRONDA concentrates his practice on all facets of commercial real estate, commercial lending, land use planning and zoning, business representation and litigation.  In his practice regarding commercial real estate, DANIEL advises companies and individuals with respect to commercial property acquisition and development, land use planning and zoning, as well as litigation of disputes.  He also provides legal representation for banking institutions in the area of commercial lending for all commercial real estate transactions.  In his practice regarding business representation, DANIEL advises companies on the acquisition and sale of business interests, labor and employment issues and litigation.  He focuses on the most cost effective solutions for clients and prides himself on his personal attention for each client.  DANIEL brings wide scope of experience to the firm stemming from a variety of matters throughout his career.  DANIEL is admitted to the bars of the State of New Jersey and the State of New York, as well as the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Eastern District of New York and Southern District of New York.