Non-union public employees in New Jersey will no longer be able to “bank” unused sick leave beyond $15,000 and will be prohibited from carrying over vacation time more than one year, if Governor Chris Christie signs S-2220/A-3392. The bill was approved unanimously by both houses of the Legislature.
Passing the bill was seen as critical to municipalities in order to live under a 2 percent cap on local property tax hikes. In announcing the bill’s passage on Monday, state Senator Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), the prime sponsor of the bill in the Senate, pointed to a recent Asbury Park Press story that highlighted the retirement of 14 Stafford Township municipal workers – mostly police officers –with $722,000 in banked sick leave and unused compensation.
The bill’s provisions will apply to all New Jersey public employees not covered by a collective bargaining agreement, regardless of date of hire. However, any employee that has already banked more than $15,000 in sick leave will not lose what was already put aside. Instead, it will be frozen at current levels.