New Jersey Leave Laws

This post will guide you through employee leave laws for businesses and workers located in the state of New Jersey.

Follow this guide to understand employers’ obligations for vacation time, paid time off (PTO), sick leave, parental leave, bereavement and more, along with state holidays observed in New Jersey.

This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.

Vacation time (paid or unpaid) is not required by law in New Jersey.

Are Use It or Lose It Polices Legal in New Jersey?

New Jersey leave laws do not mention Use It or Lose It policies, thus it appears to be legal to apply such a policy for vacation time.

Use It or Lose It leave policies mean that any leave not used at the end of the year is forfeited, and not carried over to the following year. Learn more about Use It or Lose It policies here.

PTO Payout Laws in New Jersey

Unused PTO does not have to be paid out upon separation of employment (e.g. when an employee quits, is fired, retires or is laid off) in New Jersey, unless promised in an employee’s contract.

Read More: PTO Payout Laws by State

Sick Leave in New Jersey

Paid sick leave is required by law in New Jersey.

Employees are entitled to one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours in one benefit year.

Unused sick leave is allowed to be carried over from one year to the next (up to a maximum of 40 hours), unless a company provides 40 hours of sick leave frontloaded each year.

There is no minimum number of employees a company must have in order to be required to provide paid sick leave for their employees.

Besides any state laws or provisions written into employment contracts, employers in New Jersey must comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which entitles eligible employees the right to take 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for serious health conditions, or to care for spouses, children or parents with a serious health condition.

New Jersey State Holidays

The following official state holidays are observed in New Jersey:

January 1New Year’s Day
3rd Monday in JanuaryMartin Luther King, Jr. Day
3rd Monday in FebruaryPresidents Day
Friday before EasterGood Friday
Last Monday of MayMemorial Day
3rd Friday in JuneJuneteenth
July 4Independence Day
1st Monday in SeptemberLabour Day
2nd Monday in OctoberColumbus Day
November 11Veterans Day
4th Thursday in NovemberThanksgiving Day
December 25Christmas Day
Any holidays that fall on a Saturday are observed on the previous Friday, while any holidays that fall on a Sunday are observed on the following Monday.

There is no requirement to allow employees a paid or unpaid day off for state holidays, and employees required to work on state holidays are not legally entitled to extra compensation (such as higher pay or a compensatory day off), unless promised in their employment contract.

Maternity Leave in New Jersey

The New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) entitles employees to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 24-month period to care for or bond with a child, including new births, adoptions or foster placements.

Paternity Leave in New Jersey

Both mothers and fathers are covered by the NJFLA, with both receiving the same benefits to care for their new child.

Bereavement Leave in New Jersey

There is no legal requirement to provide bereavement leave in New Jersey.

Other Leave Types

Jury Duty Leave

Paid leave is not required for jury duty in New Jersey, however employees must be allowed to serve jury duty without being dismissed or penalized.

Voting Leave

Voting leave is not required in New Jersey.

Military Leave

Federal Law (the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)) applies in New Jersey, which states that military service members receive up to five years of unpaid leave for military service, and upon returning, must be reinstated to the same position (or an equivalent position) as they had before their leave.

Anything not covered in New Jersey state leave laws is up to the discretion of the employer, such as whether or not to provide paid sick leave or PTO, or whether PTO rolls over from year to year.

However, if any benefits are laid out in an employee’s contract or company policy, employers must comply with what has been agreed in that document.

For example, if an employee’s contract states that they are to receive 12 days of PTO each year, the employer is legally required to provide this, even though paid time off is not required by state law.

Official Resources

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