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New Jersey Leave Laws & Holidays

Paid Time Off (PTO), Vacation Time, Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Military Leave, and Voting Leave

Table Of Contents

Paid Time Off (PTO) in New Jersey

Vacation Leave Quota 

There is no obligation for employers to provide paid or unpaid vacation. 

In New Jersey, there are no laws requiring employers to provide their employees with either paid or unpaid vacation time. This allows companies to create their own vacation policies, including paid time off, or paid holidays.  

The decision to offer these benefits is at the discretion of the employer, but if they do offer leave, they must comply with relevant state laws, company policies, or employment contract agreements. 

Accrual 

The PTO accrual system is not mandatory in New Jersey, but it is widely used by companies.      

The accrual system is based on the pay period. The most common pay periods in New Jersey is semi-monthly and monthly. 

An employer may have a policy that caps (limits) an employee’s ability to earn vacation time to a certain number of hours. 

Roll Over (Carry Over, Brought Forward) 

A Use-It-or-Lose-It policy is allowed.   

A “use-it-or-lose-it” employee vacation policy requires an employee to lose any unused vacation time after a specific date, such as the end of the year. 

Using the use-it-or-lose-it policy is not addressed by state statute, which means that employers may implement it. 

Statutory Provisions Addressing Vacation Pay 

Accrued but unused vacation time is not considered wages

In New Jersey, the laws regarding wages do not consider accrued and unused vacation as wages and do not have any regulations regarding the accrual or carrying over of vacation from one year to the next. 

Payment of Accrued, Unused Vacation on Termination 

The law does not require employers to provide PTO payout at termination. 

Vacation time that is not used will not be considered part of an employee’s wages, unless there is a provision in an employment agreement, union contract, or company policy stating that vacation time will be paid out upon termination of employment. If this is the case, the employee may have a claim for vacation pay if the terms outlined in the agreement, contract, or policy are not honored. 

Payout 

An employer pays only if there is an employment agreement, union contract, or company policy that states so. 

Sick Leave in New Jersey

The FMLA requires 12 weeks of unpaid sick leave. The NJFLA provides up to 12 weeks of leave. Paid sick leave provides 1 paid hour for every 30 hours worked. 

Federal Laws – Leave Quota 

Federal law requires 12 weeks of unpaid sick leave.     

The standard federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to New Jersey (as it is in all the states in the U.S.A). The leave is job-protected.  

Employees qualify for FMLA benefits only if: 

  • they have been employed for at least 12 months (at least 25 hours per week) or 1,250 hours in the previous year 
  • they work in a location where at least 50 people are employed by the company (in a 75-mile radius)        

The FMLA entitles qualified employees to take up to 12 weeks off for: 

  • personal medical reasons – illness or injury 
  • to care for a close family member (child, spouse, or parent) suffering from a severe illness 
  • maternity or paternity leave.      

Check out our article on FMLA to learn more. 

Payout 

The FMLA is unpaid. 

New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) 

Up to 12 weeks of leave (within 24 months). 

Besides the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees are entitled to take time off for family and medical reasons under the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA)

All employers with 30+ employees must comply with the NJFLA for their workers in New Jersey. 

This law requires employers to provide up to 12 weeks of leave (within a 24-month span) for eligible employees to bond with a new child, or care for a family member who has a serious health condition. NJFLA doesn’t provide leave for the worker’s own medical issues. 

Employees who meet eligibility criteria may receive additional leave under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act. If both the FMLA and NJFLA apply to an employee’s leave, the two leaves will run at the same time

Workers in New Jersey may also be eligible for benefits through the Family Leave Insurance program, which is funded through deductions from their paychecks. 

Payout 

NJFLA may be unpaid, paid, or a combination of both. 

New Jersey Paid Sick Leave

Employees earn 1 hour for every 30 hours worked.

In New Jersey, the state’s paid sick leave law applies to all employers, regardless of their size. 

Under New Jersey’s paid sick leave law, employees earn 1 hour for every 30 hours worked, and employers can limit yearly accumulation to a maximum of 40 hours

Employees may utilize paid sick leave for either themselves or a relative in regard to: 

  • An employee’s illness, injury, or other adverse health condition 
  • Diagnosis, attention, management, or recovery relating to either mental or physical illness. 
  • Public health emergencies 
  • The period required to participate in a school-related meeting, event, etc. for child. 
  • Domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking 

Paid sick leave begins with the first day of employment. However, employers may mandate a waiting period of 120 days after the hire date before the employee can use any accrued paid sick leave. 

Employees are allowed to carry over up to 40 unused paid sick leave hours from one year to the next. 

Employers may request 7 days’ advance notice for planned appointments. For leaves lasting 3 or more consecutive days, employers may ask for reasonable documentation

New Jersey Paid Sick Leave took effect on Oct. 29, 2018. 

Payout 

Employers are not obligated to pay employees for unused paid sick leave upon termination of employment. 

Maternity, Paternity, FMLA in New Jersey

Federal Law 

12 weeks of unpaid maternity/paternity leave is provided by FMLA.       

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that allows eligible workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for family or medical reasons, including maternity or paternity leave. Unless otherwise authorized by the employer, an employee must take this leave continuously. More information about FMLA eligibility can be found above, under the section Sick Leave in New Jersey > Federal Laws – Leave Quota.    

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is one more federal law that protects pregnant women. According to the PDA, discrimination against pregnant people is prohibited in all areas of employment: hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, fringe benefits, training, leave, and health insurance.    

Additional State Laws in New Jersey 

The New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) provides up to 12 weeks of leave (within 24 months). 

In addition to the FMLA, the NJFLA is a state law that allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave (within a 24-month span) for family reasons, including maternity or paternity leave. 

For more information about the NJFLA, please check the section above Sick Leave in New Jersey > New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA). 

In New Jersey, workers may also have access to benefits through the Family Leave Insurance program, which is financed by deductions from their payroll. 

Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) Program provides employees with up to two-thirds of their regular wages. It provides employees who are temporarily unable to work due to disabilities related to pregnancy or childbirth with up to 4 weeks before childbirth and up to six weeks after childbirth. Employees may be eligible for more benefits if they have additional complications related to childbirth or pregnancy. 

Family Leave provides benefits after the recovery period of up to 6 weeks, so the employees are able to bond with their newborns. Paid family leave runs at the same time as either the Federal Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA). Other types of available leave must be utilized prior to taking paid family leave. 

Bereavement Leave in New Jersey (Funeral Leave)

An employer is not required to provide bereavement leave.      

An employer is not legally required to provide any paid or unpaid bereavement leave, or any time off to attend an immediate family member’s funeral. However, most employers do provide at least 2 days, so if an employer decides to provide bereavement leave, they must follow the bereavement policy or practice they have in place. 

Payout 

Bereavement leave in New Jersey is unpaid. 

Jury Duty Leave in New Jersey

Employers must provide employees unpaid time off for jury duty

Employers are required to provide employees with unpaid, job-protected leave to report to jury selection or jury duty. Notice requirements do apply, so employees may have to show their employer their jury summons (within a reasonable period of time after receiving it) to be given the necessary leave. 

An employer is not allowed to force its employees to use any other type of leave (vacation time, sick leave, etc.) to cover leave taken for jury duty. 

An employer may not fire, threaten to fire, penalize, or punish the employee in any way due to their jury service. 

Payout 

The court pays:         

Employees who serve as jurors in New Jersey are paid $5.00 a day (though juror pay is only a token amount). 

The employer pays: 

Private employers in New Jersey are not required to pay employees for jury duty leave. 

Military Leave in New Jersey

All employers in the U.S. must comply with USERRA. Additional state laws. 

Federal law 

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is a federal law that applies to employers of all sizes and types in the U.S. USERRA protects employees called to active duty in the U.S. military, including the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves, and National Guard. USERRA provides reinstatement rights, protection from discrimination, the right to continue group health care benefits for up to 24 months during their leave, and up to 5 years of unpaid leave for military service (with exceptions to this 5-year limit). 

New Jersey State Law 

The New Jersey law affords reemployment rights to military service members of the U.S. or state, in addition to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.  

It protects employees who leave their job, except for temporary positions, for any of the following reasons: serving in the U.S. armed forces, participating in military training or assemblies, or attending military service schools for up to three months in a four-year period.  

Upon return from active duty, the employee must be reinstated to their previous position or a similar one, if not possible, to any available job they are qualified for. They cannot be fired without a valid reason for one year after reemployment. 

Payout 

Military leave is unpaid. 

Voting Leave in New Jersey

Not required by state law.  

According to New Jersey law, employers are not mandated to give their employees time off to vote on Election Day. If an employer allows time for voting, they have the discretion to decide whether or not to pay for that time.  

Most states in the U.S. provide time off for voting, but New Jersey is not one of them. 

Payout 

Voting leave is unpaid. 

New Jersey State Holidays for 2023

New Jersey law doesn’t require private employers to provide employees with paid or unpaid holiday leave.   

Private employers in New Jersey don’t have to provide paid or unpaid leave for holidays, like almost all states in the U.S.A. Private employers can require all employees to work on holidays. However, the majority of employers in New Jersey do provide at least several paid holidays.      

Complete list of official holidays recognized and celebrated by the state of New Jersey in 2023

Date Holiday
Monday, 2 January New Year’s Day
Monday, 16 January Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Monday, 20 February Presidents Day
Friday, 7 April Good Friday
Monday, 29 May Memorial Day
Friday, 16 June Juneteenth
Tuesday, 4 July Independence Day
Monday, 4 September Labour Day
Monday, 9 October Columbus Day
Tuesday, 7 November Election Day
Friday, 10 November Veterans Day
Thursday, 23 November Thanksgiving Day
Monday, 25 December Christmas Day

Sources

  1. Official Site of The State of New Jersey > Department of Labor and Workforce Development > Laws and Regulations, https://www.nj.gov/labor/wageandhour/tools-resources/laws/
  2. Official Site of The State of New Jersey > Paid Sick Leave > Earned Sick Leave Is the Law in New Jersey, https://www.nj.gov/labor/worker-protections/earnedsick/law.shtml
  3. The New Jersey Employment Law Guide, https://joinhomebase.com/state-labor-laws/new-jersey/
  4. New Jersey Payroll and Benefits Guide, https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/united-states-new-jersey/
  5. Helpside – Employee Leave Laws by State, https://www.helpside.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Employee-Leave-Laws-by-State-Final.pdf
  6. Leave Laws by State and Municipality: 50-State Charts, https://www.xperthr.com/fifty-state-charts/leave-laws-by-state-and-municipality/20973/

Updated: Jan 31, 2023 

Check out our Leave Laws page to learn more about laws in various countries.

All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.