Posted by DHS on 11.19.2018
The following information was sent out by the New Jersey Department
of Human Service (DHS) on 11/19/2018 and appears unedited below.
Please note that The Arc of New Jersey is NOT the author of this
information. We are only forwarding it as a service to individuals
and families who may not be on the Division's subscription list.
Important Information for DDD SDE Option Participants through Public Partnerships
 
Individuals/families participating in the DDD Self-Directed Employee (SDE) Option under Public Partnerships LLC (PPL) may already be aware of the changes below, which will affect them and their self-directed employees. Please note that these changes also apply to self-directed employees providing Division-funded services  to  Easterseals New Jersey (ESNJ); however, in the ESNJ self-directed model, ESNJ is the employer and is therefore responsible for implementation. Questions related to SDEs through ESNJ should be directed to ESNJ.

  • NEW JERSEY EARNED SICK LEAVE LAW

Governor Murphy signed the  New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law  on May 2, making New Jersey the tenth state in the nation to enact such legislation. The  law, which went into effect on  October 29 ,req uires all employers statewide to provide paid sick leave to employees at an accrual rate of one hour of sick leave earned for every 30 hours worked with a maximum of 40 hours per benefit year permitted to be carried over  and a maximum of 40 hours per benefit year permitted to be utilized.

Self-directed employees who were cleared to work and began providing reimbursable authorized services before October 29 began accruing sick leave on October 29; self-directed employees who were cleared to work and began providing reimbursable authorized services on or after October 29 began accruing paid sick leave on the date they began providing reimbursable authorized services. Earned sick leave can begin to be used 120 days after October 29 or 120 days after the date on which an employee cleared to work began providing reimbursable authorized services,  whichever is later . At this time, earned sick leave for self-directed employees in the DDD SDE Option through Public Partnerships will not impact individual budgets.
 
Employers and employees in the DDD SDE Option will receive a mailing in the coming weeks that will include an earned sick leave notification letter, FAQs and poster.  

  • DRUG TESTING
One of the requirements of the  Stephen Komninos’ Law , which went into effect on May 1, is pre-employment drug testing of prospective employees and random and for-cause drug testing of anyone who will be working or volunteering in any program serving adults with intellectual/developmental issues that is funded, licensed or regulated by the Department of Human Services.
 
Mandatory drug testing for employees in the DDD SDE Option through Public Partnerships will go into effect on  January 1 . New self-directed employees in the DDD SDE Option through Public Partnerships will be required to complete drug testing as part of the pre-employment screening process, and all self-directed employees in the DDD SDE Option,  both new and current , may be subject at any time to random or for-cause drug testing.
 
More detailed information about the implementation of drug testing for self-directed employees will be distributed before the end of the year.

  • CHILD ABUSE RECORD INFORMATION (CARI) CHECK
The Child Abuse Record Information (CARI) check is completed through the NJ Department of Children and Families and checks for a record of child abuse. Implementation of the mandatory CARI check will coincide for self-directed employees in the DDD SDE Option through Public Partnerships with implementation of mandatory drug testing on  January 1 . The CARI check process takes several weeks to complete and therefore conditional employment of a self-directed employee can occur. If the CARI check results indicate a record of child abuse, the conditionally employed self-directed employee will be dismissed.

  • SERVICE DOCUMENTATION
As with self-directed employees (SDEs) still working in the Easterseals NJ model, SDEs in the DDD SDE Option through Public Partnerships  must maintain daily documentation of services provided . Public Partnerships is working with DDD to put a process in place for SDEs to submit service documentation during timesheet submission. Although we expect to implement this process by or before  January 1 , SDEs should already be maintaining daily service documentation that supports the hours they’ve worked. Public Partnerships and DDD are developing guidance around service documentation best practices and will provide more information soon.

FY 2019 DSP Wage Increase
 
The wage increase for all direct support professionals, mandated by New Jersey’s  FY 2019 Appropriations Act , went into effect  July 1  (the same date the new fiscal year began). While agencies have some leeway in terms of how to distribute the funds, all DSPs should begin to see some type of increase in the coming months.
The Arc of NJ | 732.246.2525 | advocacy@arcnj.org | www.arcnj.org