On March 25, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Senate Bill S2304, amending the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law (ESL), the New Jersey Family Leave Act (FLA), and the New Jersey Temporary Disability Benefits Law (TDL). The amendments expand an employee’s ability to take leave and collect temporary disability benefits during epidemic-related emergencies.
The new law broadens an employee’s ability to use earned sick leave to include leave due to school and work closures; isolation and quarantine orders because of exposure or suspected exposure to a communicable disease; and when the employee’s presence (or the presence of a family member under the employee’s care) in the community would jeopardize the health of others.
In addition, the new law expands the definition of a “serious health condition” under the FLA and TDL during epidemic-related emergencies to include exposure to a communicable disease requiring in-home care for the employee and his or her family member who is under an isolation or a quarantine order. Finally, the new law makes paid temporary disability benefits available without a waiting period under certain circumstances to an employee who takes leave for epidemic-related reasons.
Earned sick leave. The amendment to the Earned Sick Leave Act (ESLA) expands an employee’s entitlement to use his or her paid sick leave when he or she cannot work due to:
• The closure of the workplace or the closure of a child’s school or place of care due to a state of emergency declared by the governor;
• The determination by a healthcare provider that his or her presence in the community (or a member of his or her family in need of care by the employee) ...