On June 21, 2014, the Newark, New Jersey Sick Leave Ordinance (which we previously discussed in the March 2014 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority) will become effective. Beyond the primary requirements of the ordinance (i.e., 24 to 40 hours of paid sick leave to most Newark employees, described in greater detail here), the ordinance also contains notice and posting obligations: employers must notify employees of their rights and obligations under the ordinance by (1) providing individual written notice to each employee (at commencement of employment, or as soon as possible for current employees), and (2) posting notice of such rights in a conspicuous location around the workplace.
The City of Newark Department of Child and Family Well-Being recently prepared a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document, and advised in its announcement that posting this FAQ document in a conspicuous place will satisfy the employer’s posting requirement under the ordinance. In addition to positing the FAQ document, employers must provide individual written notice to each employee. Unfortunately, the Department has not yet issued a model notice and instead recommends that employers prepare “a written notice that incorporates the key terms of the [o]rdinance.” We have prepared sample language for our clients, which we will make available upon request.
Note that the ordinance requires employers to not only post and distribute in English, but also in any language that is the first language of at least 10 percent of the employer’s workforce. Unfortunately, Newark appears to have shifted this translation obligation onto the employer; the Department has only made an English FAQ document available.
The Department advised in its announcement that “employers should also adopt the key provisions of the ordinance into their employee handbooks,” although this does not appear to be a requirement grounded in the ordinance itself.