Morristown, New Jersey, has released the “Notice of Employee Rights to Paid Sick Time” for use by employers preparing for the Morristown Paid Sick Leave Ordinance’s January 11, 2017, effective date. (For details on the Ordinance, see our article, Morristown, New Jersey, Passes Paid Sick Leave Ordinance.)
Under the Ordinance, employers in Morristown must provide written notice to all new employees at the time of hire, as well as to current employees on the effective date.
Furthermore, the Ordinance requires employers to display the notice/poster in a conspicuous place in each establishment where employees may work. Additionally, the Ordinance requires notice/posting in any language that is the first language of at least 10 percent of the workforce. Accordingly, Morristown also provided a Spanish-language notice/posting for use by employers.
In addition, the Town has released a Frequently-Asked-Questions sheet that attempts to address some of the ambiguity in the Ordinance. Significantly, the sheet clarifies that the Ordinance applies to companies that do not maintain an establishment within Morristown’s geographic borders. It explains:
What if a business is located outside of the Town of Morristown but has employees who work in the Town of Morristown?
As long as an employee works 80 or more hours in the Town of Morristown and is not employed by the government and is not a member of a construction union covered by a collective bargaining agreement, the employee is covered by the Town of Morristown Paid Sick Leave Ordinance regardless of where your business is registered or located.
This obviously poses complications for employers outside of Morristown that may have sales employees, remote employees, delivery persons, and others who may spend at least 80 hours a year physically working in the Town, although the employer does not maintain an establishment in Morristown. For example, if a Georgia-based information technology company sends a consultant to service an account in Morristown over a two-week period, that employee technically qualifies for paid sick leave under the Ordinance.
Moreover, the Ordinance and FAQs do not address whether the paid sick time is portable, i.e., whether an employee who accrues paid sick leave in Morristown may use the paid sick leave in, for example, Georgia.
Finally, the FAQs do not explain how the Morristown Division of Health may enforce the Ordinance against an employer that does not maintain a business address within the Town’s geographical limits.
As the reach and enforcement of the Ordinance are unclear, employers — even those beyond Morristown’s geographic borders — must proceed cautiously. Employers should consult with employment counsel to determine whether and how their particular situations are affected by the Morristown Ordinance.