Nearly every person employed in New Jersey is guaranteed paid sick leave later this month, when a law signed in May actually takes effect.

The New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act, which officially launches on October 29, grants workers — even part-timers — one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked.

Workers can earn up to 40 hours in one year, and employers, depending on their paid-time-off method, must offer payment for unused time or allow unused time to be carried over to the next year.

New Jersey is one of 10 states mandating that employers provide their workers with paid sick leave.

Adam Gersh, a labor and employment attorney with Flaster Greenberg in Cherry Hill, said while many private employers already offer leave to workers, part-time employees are typically not part of the equation.

"Most employers are going to have to make some sort of modification to their current PTO plan," Gersh said.

The law firm is seeing so much interest, and so many questions, from employers that it's hosting a complimentary seminar on October 18 to provide legal advice.

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has posted proposed rules that would implement the new law. It serves as a blueprint for employers on how to comply, and for employees on their rights under the law.

As part of a 60-day comment period, a public hearing on the rule proposal is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, November 13, in the Labor Department's auditorium (1 John Fitch Plaza, Trenton, NJ)

"Having access to paid sick days means that New Jersey workers no longer have to lose a day's pay to stay home sick or to care for a sick child or parent," said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.

It's estimated that about 1.2 million New Jersey workers currently don't have the benefit of paid sick days. This law, which overrides any local ordinances, also permits victims of domestic violence to use their leave in order to obtain treatment and counseling.

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