Finishing off 2015 with a bang, New Brunswick, New Jersey joins 10 other New Jersey cities in passing a paid sick leave law since 2013. The new law, identical in many ways to its New Jersey brethren, has distinguished itself by being more nuanced, and perhaps more cautious in its approach. Some of the limitations include:
- Employers with five or fewer employers are exempt from the law
- Employees who work less than 20 hours per week are not eligible
- Employees who work from home are ineligible
- Accrual for employees who work between 20 and 35 hours per week is limited to 24 hours per year
- Employees working at eating/drinking establishments who request time off on a federally recognized holiday, or Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or New Year’s Eve may be required to provide documentation to verify that their absence meets the law’s requirements
The City Council considered a variety of factors in making its final decision to pass the ordinance. One such factor is related to a Newark, New Jersey study regarding emergency room visits. According to the study, following the passage of a sick leave law in Newark, the city saw a significant decrease in non-emergent, emergency room visits, saving the city approximately $1 million. New Brunswick’s two major hospitals could see similar savings.
As paid sick leave continues to be on the agenda on the city, county, state, and the federal level, nuances like those crafted by New Brunswick may become a creative way for lawmakers to strike a compromise. The push for paid sick leave isn’t subsiding, but neither is the opposition to the same. Lawmakers will no doubt continue to seek inventive ways to satisfy their constituents, on both sides of the aisle.
Did you know that Reed Group provides clients with a comprehensive source of information on local leave laws? Check out the new Local Government tab on LeaveAdvisor®, to find the information you need to stay informed.