“What a difference a governor makes! Gov. Phil Murphy today made New Jersey the 10th state to adopt a paid sick days law, allowing 1.2 million more workers in the state to earn paid sick time. This badly needed new law will allow New Jersey workers to earn paid time away from work to recover from illness or care for a loved one, address domestic or sexual violence, or attend a school meeting without losing their pay or their job. Coupled with the fair pay law Gov. Phil Murphy signed just a few weeks ago and existing state family leave and pregnancy accommodation laws, New Jersey lawmakers are making the state one of the most fair and family friendly in the country. It is impressive.
New Jersey’s new paid sick days law will allow workers to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to five days per year. Workers will be able to use their earned paid sick time to care for a variety of family members, including one whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship. It will take effect in six months. The state law builds and improves upon paid sick days laws that 13 New Jersey cities and towns have adopted over the past five years — but now working people in New Jersey will be guaranteed a uniform right to earn paid sick time, no matter where they work. This has benefits for all; paid sick time helps workers, families, businesses, the public’s health and the economy.
In addition to Gov. Murphy, we commend Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt, State Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, and every state legislator who supported the Earned Sick and Safe Days Act. We also thank and congratulate the New Jersey Time to Care Coalition, which worked tirelessly for this advance.
This is a tremendous victory for working families in New Jersey — and for women in particular, who still handle most family caregiving responsibilities. But all workers must be able to earn paid sick days, no matter where they live or who they work for. At this time when nearly one in three private sector workers in the United States cannot earn a single paid sick day, we urge Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act, to establish the national paid sick days standard the country urgently needs. No worker should be forced to choose between health and economic security.”