Spotlight on New Jersey YMCA State Alliance Public Policy

May 3, 2019

Below are updates on various New Jersey Public Policies and its impact on the YMCAs across the state.

Minimum Wage Law:

The new law does not change the nonprofit summer camp overtime/minimum wage exemption for YMCA camps, nor does it change the provision that permits the use of room and board toward minimum wage.

Under the new state law, the YMCA Association camps qualify for the delayed implementation of minimum wage with seasonal employment.  “Seasonal employment” means employment by a non-profit or government entity of an individual starting on May 1 and ending September 30.  

The delayed schedule for minimum wage implementation for summer-only workers is as follows:

  • $10.30 on Jan. 1, 2020;
  • $0.80 increase every subsequent Jan. 1 until reaching $14.30 in 2025;
  • $0.70 increase, to $15, on Jan. 1, 2026;
  • Wage increases would then be tied to the Consumer Price Index, plus a little extra so that the minimum wage for these workers is the same as the first group (who reach $15 by 2024) by 2028.

Status: There will be no change for this upcoming season for workers who are only hired for the summer.

Paid Sick Leave Update:

Under the new paid sick leave law, workers who started receiving paid sick leave when the law took effect last October became eligible to take advantage of their accrued sick days on February 26, 2019.

Status: The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development created a website for employers to use as reference for compliance.  It includes FAQ’s, handouts for employees, and contact information for questions about the rules: www.mysickdays.nj.gov

Paid Family Leave Expansion:

On February 19, Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation expanding paid family leave from six to 12 weeks during any 12-month period; intermittent leave 42 days to 56 days; and increasing weekly benefits.  Some of the benefits of the legislation include:

  • Twelve weeks of paid time off, rather than six, to care for a new child or sick family member. Workers could take 56 days of intermittent leave, up from 42 days.
  • An increase in the amount of pay a person could receive – 85 percent of their regular wage, rather than two-thirds, maxing out at 70 percent of the statewide average weekly wage for all workers, rather than 53 percent. The maximum benefit would be approximately $842 a week, up from $638. The average benefit is expected to increase $149 a week to $689.
  • Expand the types of family members for which a person could qualify for leave to include siblings, grandparents, grandchildren and parents-in-law.

See the Governor’s press release for more detailed information: https://nj.gov/governor/news/news/562019/approved/20190219a.shtml

Status: Expanded benefits will go into effect July 2020.