New: NJ Safe Act Leave

The New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act (“NJ SAFE Act”), provides that certain employees are eligible to receive an unpaid leave of absence — for a period not to exceed 20 days in a 12-month period — to address circumstances resulting from domestic violence or a sexually violent offense. To be eligible, the employee must have worked at least 1,000 hours during the immediately preceding 12-month period. Further, the employee must have worked for an employer in New Jersey that employs 25 or more employees for each working day during each of 20 or more calendar workweeks in the then-current or immediately preceding calendar year.

NOTE: The statute requires employers to post a notice in a conspicuous place in the workplace, advising employees of their rights and obligations under the Act. The statute also requires employers to “use other appropriate means to keep its employees so informed.” Although the NJ DOL has not clarified what is considered “other appropriate means,” it is recommended that employers should be taking some other action, in addition to posting the notice, to keep employees informed of their rights and obligations under the Act. As this language is similar to that found in the New Jersey Family Leave Act, employers could include a written policy on the NJ SAFE Act in the employee handbook or distribute a copy of the notice to all current employees and to new employees upon hire.