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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Earned Sick Leave for Reasons Other than Sickness, Such as Addressing Domestic or Sexual Violence or Attending Child’s School Conference- EELC Part II

If you are a Covered Employee under NJ’s Earned Sick Leave Law, you may be paid for time off for certain situations which address domestic or sexual violence against yourself or a family member, including counseling sessions and attending court proceedings, and for attending required meetings or conferences called by your child’s teacher or school administrator.

Permitted usage of earned sick leave is as follows:

§ 34:11D-3 a). An employer shall permit an employee to use the earned sick leave accrued pursuant to this act for any of the following:

(1) time needed for diagnosis, care, or treatment of, or recovery from, an employee’s mental or physical illness, injury or other adverse health condition, or for preventive medical care for the employee;

(2) time needed for the employee to aid or care for a family member of the employee during diagnosis, care, or treatment of, or recovery from, the family member’s mental or physical illness, injury or other adverse health condition, or during preventive medical care for the family member;

(3) absence necessary due to circumstances resulting from the employee, or a family member of the employee, being a victim of domestic or sexual violence, if the leave is to allow the employee to obtain for the employee or the family member: medical attention needed to recover from physical or psychological injury or disability caused by domestic or sexual violence; services from a designated domestic violence agency or other victim services organization; psychological or other counseling; relocation; or legal services, including obtaining a restraining order or preparing for, or participating in, any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to the domestic or sexual violence;

(4) time during which the employee is not able to work because of 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 due to an epidemic or other public health emergency, or because of the issuance by a 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; or

(5) time needed by the employee in connection with a child of the employee to attend a school-related conference, meeting, function or other event requested or required by a school administrator, teacher, or other professional staff member responsible for the child’s education, or to attend a meeting regarding care provided to the child in connection with the child’s health conditions or disability.

Do I have to supply advance notice to my employer if I want paid sick leave off?

The ESLL articulates several conditions and steps as to its notice requirements. Under the statute, § 34:11D-3 b).:

  • If an employee's need to use earned sick leave is foreseeable, an employer may require advance notice, not to exceed seven calendar days prior to the date the leave is to begin, of the intention to use the leave and its expected duration
  • The employer has a duty to make a reasonable effort to schedule the use of earned sick leave in a manner that does not unduly disrupt the operations of the employer.
  • If the reason for the leave is not foreseeable, an employer may require an employee to give notice of the intention as soon as practicable, if the employer has notified the employee of this requirement. Employers may prohibit employees from using foreseeable earned sick leave on certain dates, and require reasonable documentation if sick leave that is not foreseeable is used during those dates.
  • For earned sick leave of three or more consecutive days, an employer may require reasonable documentation that the leave is being taken for the purpose permitted under subsection a. of this section. If the leave is permitted under paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection a. of this section, documentation signed by a health care professional who is treating the employee or the family member of the employee indicating the need for the leave and, if possible, number of days of leave, shall be considered reasonable documentation.
  • If the leave is permitted under paragraph (3) of subsection a. of this section because of domestic or sexual violence, any of the following shall be considered reasonable documentation of the domestic or sexual violence: medical documentation; a law enforcement agency record or report; a court order; documentation that the perpetrator of the domestic or sexual violence has been convicted of a domestic or sexual violence offense; certification from a certified Domestic Violence Specialist or a representative of a designated domestic violence agency or other victim services organization; or other documentation or certification provided by a social worker, counselor, member of the clergy, shelter worker, health care professional, attorney, or other professional who has assisted the employee or family member in dealing with the domestic or sexual violence. If the leave is permitted under paragraph (4) of subsection a. of this section, a copy of the order of the public official or the determination by the health authority shall be considered reasonable documentation.

What You Can Do.

I am an aggressive and compassionate employment law attorney who is experienced in successfully representing disabled persons, employees on FMLA leave, pregnant women, and related issues. If you find yourself in a situation with inadequate job security for disabled employees, if you are thinking of resigning, or think you will be fired, or have been fired, it is important that you consult with an attorney who is experienced in discrimination.

If you are being subjected to workplace discrimination, contact Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law today for a free consultation.

Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law serves clients throughout New Jersey, including Bergen, Middlesex, Essex, Hudson, Monmouth, Ocean, Union, Camden, Passaic, and Morris Counties with locations in southern, central, western and northern NJ to meet with clients.


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