In two weeks, New Jersey’s paid sick leave law will take effect, and every employer in the state will have to provide 40 hours of paid sick time to every employee. In other words, the law will impact just about every business in the state, even those who already offer generous paid sick time benefits.
The law’s record-keeping requirements seem pretty straightforward, so why sweat it? As attorney Jeffrey Corradino explained at NJBIA’s paid sick leave seminar, “Failure to maintain records will result in presumption of failure to comply with PSLA unless you can produce ‘clear and convincing evidence otherwise.’”
Jeffrey Corradino is an attorney with Jackson Lewis. He will discuss complying with New Jersey’s new paid sick leave law at our Oct. 19 Seminar
“I think what’s going to happen is the New Jersey Department of Labor is going to start taking a look at your paid-time-off policies during audits to see if you’re complying with the statute,” Corradino added.
Good records can make that go smoothly.
Businesses will need to record employees’ hours to show they have accrued paid sick time at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. For exempt employees, if you do not use the presumptive 40-hour method, you need to start counting the hours they work as well. You will also have to keep track of the hours of sick time each employee takes and the rate they’re paid during their leave.
Corradino says it’s always best practice to maintain separate files on leave to better protect confidential information. The state’s law requires employers to treat any information about why an employee takes leave (e.g., health, domestic violence, etc.) as confidential. It cannot be disclosed except internally on a need-to-know basis or externally with the written permission of the employee.
The statute requires companies to keep these records for five years. “I always tell my clients to keep employment records for the current year plus six.” Corradino said.