New Jersey 101.5 FM Radio

Should NJ Mandate Businesses To Allow Certain Employees To Earn Sick Days?

New Jersey 101.5 FM Radio — Wednesday, May 15, 2013

By Ray Rossi

I don't know if your employer has ever done this, but during times when the flu would be going around, our bosses would tell us to stay home rather than come into work.

This would be for the benefit of everyone, so that you don't have multiple employees out at any given time, and that if you were to be sick, you probably wouldn't be able to give your all to whatever your job dictated.

This is pretty easy to do if your employer gives you a certain amount of sick days a year.

However when your boss doesn't provide them, either you take the day on your dime; or show up to work and risk either getting sicker or infecting those around you.

That's why the bill proposed by Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt makes sense.
Business sense and practical sense.

According to our story:

More than 1.2 million New Jersey workers, 38 percent of the state's private-sector workforce, lack earned sick days, but that doesn't mean these employees don't get sick. It means they don't get paid if they have to stay home when they're ill.

Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt has introduced a bill that she calls a win-win for the Garden State.

"My bill says for every 30 hours worked they'll accrue one hour of leave capping it at what equals to nine days of sick time," explains Lampitt. "This only focuses on employees in the State of New Jersey, who are not currently earning sick time......This is to provide them the opportunity to utilize these earned hours to either care for themselves or care for a loved one."

The legislation will evolve and change, predicts Lampitt. She says she will get input from Garden State business leaders and labor attorneys in an effort to produce a final piece of legislation that is good for everyone involved. The hope is a minimum standard will promote a healthier workforce, stronger businesses and a more prosperous New Jersey.

The bill has the support of New Jersey Citizen Action and the New Jersey Time to Care Coalition.

Yes, we've heard the stories before, such as "the state should stay out of regulating businesses...businesses will have to incur the cost of providing sick days to employees...this is just another entitlement, lazy employees will take advantage and take off on the boss' dime...blah, blah, blah!"

She does say the legislation will evolve and change to reflect the real world concerns of businesses.

Were I an employer, I'd still rather these employees show up for work ready to do whatever their job requires, than show up sick, possibly infect everyone else; and probably do a half-assed job anyway.

If you're sick and can prove it, stay the hell home!

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