In New Jersey, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. NJ Admin. Code 12:56-5.2; NJ Dept. of Labor FAQs. If an employer chooses to provide these benefits, it is only required to comply with its established policy or employment contract. NJ Dept. of Labor FAQs.
Neither New Jersey’s Legislature nor its courts have given any significant guidance regarding other potential vacation policy issues. They are silent regarding whether an employer may:
- establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment,
- deny payment for accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract is silent on the matter,
- require an employee to comply with specific requirements to qualify for payment of vacation leave upon separation from employment, such as giving two weeks notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year,
- cap the vacation leave an employee may accrued over time,
- implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.
Although New Jersey’s authorities are silent regarding many vacation policy issues, based on the contractual emphasis New Jersey has placed on vacation policies, an employer is likely free to implement the vacation policy of its choosing. NJ Dept. of Labor FAQs. An employer would be required to comply with the terms of its policy or contract. NJ Dept. of Labor FAQs.
Additionally, employers in New Jersey may be required to provide employees unpaid sick leave in accordance with New Jersey’s Family Leave Act and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws. Employees may also be entitled to benefits under New Jersey’s Family Leave Insurance program, which is funded by employee payroll deductions.
New Jersey law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. NJ Dept. of Labor FAQs In New Jersey, a private employer can require an employee to work holidays.
A private employer does not have to pay an employee premium pay, such as 1½ times the regular rate, for working on holidays, unless such time worked qualifies the employee for overtime under standard overtime laws. If an employer chooses to provide either paid or unpaid holiday leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.
Visit our New Jersey State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of New Jersey as well as information regarding state laws governing holiday leave for public employers and employees.
Jury Duty Leave
An employer is not required to pay an employee any wages for time spent complying with a jury summons or serving on a jury.
An employer may not discharge, penalize, threaten, or otherwise coerce an employee with respect to employment, because the employee is required to attend court for jury service. NJ Statute 2B:20-17
New Jersey does not have a law that requires an employer to grant its employees leave, either paid or unpaid, to vote.
New Jersey law does not require employers to provide employee bereavement leave. Bereavement leave is leave that is taken by an employee due to the death of another individual, usually a close relative. Employer may choose to provide bereavement leave and may be required to comply with any bereavement policy or practice it maintains.
The New Jersey Family Leave Act
The New Jersey Family Leave Act entitles eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of family leave within two years without losing their jobs. There are some exceptions, but an employer must provide this leave type to employees if the employer has between 30 and 50 employees as of June 2019, or is a government entity, regardless of size.
Moreover, an employee in New Jersey is eligible for the benefits if they have worked for the same employer for more than one year and have worked for at least 1,000 hours during the last year. This leave must be taken to care for or bond with a child in the first year following birth or placement for adoption or foster care, care for an ill family member or care for an equivalent family member with a severe health concern.
However, this New Jersey Family Leave Act does not apply to employees and their own health conditions. However, these employees may be eligible for leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
An employee must provide at least 15-days’ notice, unless there are emergent circumstances, for intermittent leave. If the employee requests consecutive leave to care for a child placed in foster care or adoption or for a newborn child, they must provide at least 30 days’ notice.
If a family member is requesting leave to care for another family member with a serious health condition, notice must be provided in a practical and reasonable manner. If the circumstances are emergent and changing, the employee should give as much notice as possible and provide detailed updates.
An employer has the right to require the employee to provide proof from a healthcare provider concerning a family member’s health condition, the date of a newborn birth, or the date of placement for adoption or foster care.