The Newark Department of Child and Family Well-Being (Department) recently issued a press release on the City’s new paid sick leave ordinance (Ordinance) together with FAQ forms for employees and employers. In the release, the Department appears to move the effective date of the Ordinance from May 29, 2014 to June 21, 2014.

One of the requirements of the Ordinance is that employers provide a written notice of rights under the law to each employee, individually, as soon as practicable after the Ordinance takes effect. Employers also must provide the notice to each new hire at the time employment commences. Notice to the individual must be in English and the primary language spoken by that employee, if the primary language of the employee also is the primary language of at least 10% of the employer’s workforce.

In addition, employers must display a poster in a conspicuous and accessible place in each business establishment covered by the Ordinance. The poster must be in English and in each language that is the first language of at least 10% of the employer’s workforce.

It is unclear whether the FAQ forms issued by the Department can be used to satisfy the posting and distribution requirements laid out in the Ordinance. To ensure compliance with the law, for the time being at least, employers should consider displaying and distributing the FAQ forms, a copy of the Ordinance, and a document incorporating the key terms of the Ordinance in the time, manner, and languages noted above. In addition, the Department’s press release states that employers should add a policy to their employee handbooks regarding sick leave rights under the Ordinance.

For more on the new law, see our prior client alert. Please contact your Proskauer relationship lawyer for further guidance on compliance.


For employees who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, the Ordinance takes effect upon expiration of the current union contract.

On the face of the Ordinance, the effective date is May 29, 2014.

The new law is silent on permissible methods of distributing written notice to employees and new hires. Thus, it appears that e-mail may be used to satisfy this obligation, if the employer prefers this method of distribution. Whether employers provide written notice by email or in hard copy, they should maintain records to demonstrate compliance with the notice obligations.

The Ordinance provides that the notice and poster must describe “the right to paid sick time, the accrual rate and the amount of paid sick time, and the terms of its use under the Ordinance; the right to be free from retaliation for properly requesting use of paid sick time; and the right to file a complaint or bring an action in municipal court if paid sick time is denied by the employer or the employee is retaliated against for requesting or taking paid sick time.”

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Photo of Joseph O’Keefe Joseph O’Keefe

Joseph C. O’Keefe is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and Co-Head of the Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets & Unfair Competition Group.

Joe is an experienced trial lawyer who, for more than 30 years, has litigated employment disputes of all…

Joseph C. O’Keefe is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and Co-Head of the Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets & Unfair Competition Group.

Joe is an experienced trial lawyer who, for more than 30 years, has litigated employment disputes of all types on behalf of employers, before federal and state courts, arbitral tribunals (e.g. FINRA and AAA), and state and federal administrative agencies throughout the U.S. Joe has litigated employment-related lawsuits alleging breach of non-compete agreements, theft of trade secrets, discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblowing, wage and hour violations, Title IX violations, breach of contract, defamation, fraud and other business related torts. Joe’s practice includes representing clients in complex class and collective litigation, including alleged violation of state and federal pay equity laws, violations of wage and hour laws and discrimination claims. Joe’s experience includes appellate work in both federal and state courts.

In addition to his extensive litigation practice, Joe regularly advises employers, writes and speaks on a wide range of employment related issues. He counsels clients concerning pay equity, use of Artificial Intelligence in the workplace, management of personnel problems, ADA/FMLA compliance, reductions in force, investigation of employee complaints, state and federal leave laws, wage and hour issues, employment policies and contracts.

Joe represents employers in a variety of industries including financial services, higher education (colleges and universities), pharmaceuticals/medical devices, health care, technology, communications, fashion, consumer products, publishing, media and real estate. He frequently writes articles concerning developments in the law and speaks at seminars concerning legal developments in the labor and employment law field.

Photo of Lawrence R. Sandak Lawrence R. Sandak

“Larry brings a ton of experience to the table, and that experience is invaluable to us. His business-minded approach and meticulous attention to detail keep me going back to him.”

                          – Client comment reported in Chambers USA 2018

Larry has more than 30…

“Larry brings a ton of experience to the table, and that experience is invaluable to us. His business-minded approach and meticulous attention to detail keep me going back to him.”

                          – Client comment reported in Chambers USA 2018

Larry has more than 30 years of notable success in the courtroom defending employers accused of discrimination, sexual harassment, breach of contract, and retaliation. According to Chambers USA, Larry understands employment litigation “absolutely inside out” and his “trial history attracts acclaim.” (See Representative Matters.)

Larry is also a trusted counselor. He give practical, cost-effective advice to clients on a broad range of issues, including the creation of sensible personnel policies and the preparation of employment contracts, policy manuals and employee handbooks. He is called upon frequently to conduct or supervise investigations of alleged employee misconduct, including sexual harassment, and to recommend appropriate responses.

Chambers USA reports that clients commend Larry as “experienced, smart and reliable” and a “real problem solver.” As one interviewee noted, he is “hugely determined to accommodate all of our needs.” And US Legal 500 recognizes Larry’s contribution to Proskauer’s premier reputation, reporting that he is “extremely knowledgeable, smart and savvy.” A lawyer’s lawyer, Larry serves as employment counsel to several of the nation’s most prominent law firms. He headed the firm’s Law Firm Practice Group for many years.

Larry has practiced before the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous trial and appellate-level courts throughout the country.

Larry has been an adjunct professor at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he taught litigation and advocacy. He has been a commentator for Court TV, CNN, CNBC and CBS News. He is the principal author of Employment Law, 2d (Vol. 18, New Jersey Practice Series).