COVID-19 Closures Added Allowable Use of New Jersey’s Earned Sick Leave Law

March 26, 2020
Kasi M. Gifford, Esq. 

To Our School Board Community:

We have been trying to anticipate and quickly respond to your questions during this time, given the unprecedented challenges presented to our Boards with COVID-19 and the school closure to students.  We have been providing guidance on how best to meet the needs of your students, staff, and community. On March 25, 2020, Governor Murphy signed Senate Bill No. 2304, which amends the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave law to include provisions allowing employees to use their earned sick leave during a public health emergency. Specifically, the Bill added additional situations in which earned leave can be used and added that earned sick leave may specifically be used during any:

  1. time during which the employee is not able to work because of:

(a) a closure of the employee’s workplace, or the school or place of care of a child of the employee by order of a public official or because of a state of emergency declared by the Governor, due to an epidemic or other public health emergency 

(b) the declaration of a state of emergency by the Governor, or the issuance by a health care provider or the Commissioner of Health or other public health authority of a determination that the presence in the community of the employee, or a member of the employee’s family in need of care by the employee, would  jeopardize the health of others;

 (c) during a state of emergency declared by the Governor, or upon the recommendation, direction, or order of a healthcare 

official, the employee undergoes isolation or quarantine, or cares for a family member in quarantine, as a result of suspected exposure to a communicable disease and a finding by the provider or authority that the presence in the community of the employee or family member would jeopardize the health of others; or…

We wanted to make you aware of this addition as it applies to anyone who is entitled to earned sick leave. Our e-mails about recent developments are not intended to substitute for our legal advice to our clients based on your specific needs or requests.  In addition, our guidance is subject to, and can be superseded by new laws, rules, regulations, or orders.  Moreover, some directives from the Federal and State authorities can appear, and can be, contradictory or in conflict, so please contact us for assistance.

As always, please contact us with any questions. We will continue to do our best to keep you updated in the coming days and weeks. 

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