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PTO Buyout Features Can Help Support Workers and Employers
- Brittney Kinley
The New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law went into effect in October of 2018. It requires covered employers in the Garden State to provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked up to 40 hours per benefit year to eligible employees.
As many readers might be aware, such requirements are not unique to New Jersey. In fact, vacation and sick leave policies are very popular among employers, whether or not they are regulated under a specific law.
Per the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law, covered employers do not need to provide paid sick leave benefits to the following workers:
- Certain public employees who have access to sick leave benefits as prescribed in the law
- Construction workers who are covered under a collective bargaining agreement
- Per diem healthcare workers
- Independent contractors that do not meet the definition of employee under New Jersey law
PTO and Time & Attendance
When new laws such as this are passed, businesses may need to update systems and policies to effectively implement changes. That may include managing time & attendance.
Under the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law, eligible employees accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours of sick time each benefit year. Alternatively, employers can choose to frontload at least 40 hours of paid sick time at the start of a benefit year to eligible employees.
Other details about the new law include the following:
- Employees may carry over up to 40 hours of unused sick time to the next benefit year, but may be limited to the use of 40 hours per benefit year.
An employer may choose—but is not required—to provide a plan that offers to pay an employee for unused sick leave at the end of the benefit year. Once the offer is made, the employee who has received paid sick time via an accrual method may choose to receive either the full amount of their unused sick time, or 50% of their unused sick time at the end of the benefit year. The balance would be carried over to the next benefit year. The employee who has received paid sick time via a frontloading method may choose whether to be paid for all of their unused sick time in lieu of carrying it over.
Many time & attendance systems can be configured to support hourly and fixed PTO accrual policies, or grant PTO accruals if you have multiple types set up under one company. But not every system is built to respond quickly to these types of legislative changes.
As a workforce management solution, stratustime can help your HR administrator track and manage employee accruals, and PTO policies. In response to New Jersey’s Earned Sick Leave Law stratustime now provides a PTO buyout feature that simplifies the process for workers and administrators. We’ll explore the new feature below.
stratustime focuses on helping companies and organizations keep up with issues related to regulatory compliance at the federal, state, and local level. Read the report, “What’s Really Different About stratustime” to explore some of the behind-the-scenes steps our compliance and engineering teams take in response to legislative changes.
The Benefit of PTO Buyouts
In today’s competitive hiring market, many workers appreciate having a PTO buyout option. A PTO buyout option can support employers too.
- For workers, a PTO buyout option can create flexibility. Workers don’t have to feel rushed or pressured into using their PTO before the benefit year ends.
- For businesses and organizations, a PTO buyout option can help them avoid scheduling issues that might happen when multiple employees suddenly feel like they have to take time off at the same time of the year.
As it relates to the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law, a sick leave buyout option allows employers to offer this option rather than being limited to a carryover option for unused paid sick time at the end of the benefit year.
To help ensure compliance with all options under the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law, employers are encouraged to consider the following steps:
- Review the law and the resources available from the state. which can be found here.
- Update your employee handbook to include a compliant policy which reflects the options you wish to make available to your employees with regard to unused paid sick time at the end of the benefit year.
- Follow notice and recordkeeping requirements under the law
- Make sure your time & attendance software aligns with the new law.
stratustime’s PTO buyout feature can simplify the process for workers and employers.
If your organization is already using stratustime to manage employee time & attendance, and you have chosen to offer a sick leave policy that includes a buyout option, employees will be able to use the software to request a buyout.
stratustime continues to improve features and capabilities in response to legislative changes.
With the passing of the Earned Sick Leave Law, New Jersey became the tenth state to offer mandatory paid sick leave. stratustime’s programmers, technicians, and compliance experts continue to monitor legislative changes and the potential impact to companies across the country.
- Our team of compliance professionals help to keep our engineers informed as we make targeted updates to our platform.
- Meanwhile, many of stratustime’s other features can help you manage your workforce. This includes the way your people track job codes, capture wage information across projects, work remotely and more.
stratustime will continue to monitor the legislative landscape, and add features and functionality to help you in your efforts to meet changing legislative requirements that may affect your people and your operations
Does your time & attendance solution help you in your efforts to stay compliant with applicable state and federal laws? Contact stratustime today, and discover all of the ways we can help you manage your workforce.