Newark employers are reminded that the city’s sick leave ordinance takes effect on June 21, 2014. It requires all private sector employers with 10 or more employees working in the City of Newark to provide up to five days of paid sick leave per year. Employers with fewer than 10 employees are only obligated to provide up to three days of paid sick leave per year.
Under the Paid Sick Time Ordinance, an employee may use paid sick time in any of the following situations:
- The employee’s mental or physical illness, injury or health condition or need for medical diagnosis, care or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition; or the employee’s need for preventive medical care; or
- Care of a family member with a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition; care of a family member who needs medical diagnosis, care or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition; or care of a family member who needs preventive medical care; or
- Closure of the employee’s place of business by order of a public official because of a public health emergency; the employee’s need to care for a child whose school or childcare provider has been closed by order of a public official because of a public health emergency; or care for a family member when it has been determined by health authorities or by a health care provider that the family member’s presence in the community would jeopardize the health of others because of the family member’s exposure to a communicable disease, whether or not the family member has actually contracted the communicable disease.
By June 21, 2014, employers must notify employees of their rights and obligations under the ordinance in two ways: (1) by providing individual written notice to each employee and (2) posting notice of such rights in a conspicuous location around the workplace. The City of Newark has created a poster featuring frequently asked questions about the ordinance. It is available here, and should be posted along with employers’ other state/federal notices.
The City of Newark has not yet provided a model written notice. Rather, it recommends that employers prepare a written notice that incorporates the key terms of the ordinance. Employers are also advised to adopt the key provisions of the ordinance into their employee handbooks.
The Newark Department of Child and Family Well-Being is tasked with enforcing the sick leave ordinance. Aggrieved workers can also file a complaint in the Newark Municipal Court. Violations may result in a penalty of up to $1,000, imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days, and/or the payment of restitution.
If you have any questions about the Newark sick leave ordinance or would like to discuss your company’s compliance, please contact me or the Scarinci Hollenbeck Labor and Employment attorney with whom you work.