Paid Sick Leave Bill Advances In NJ Legislature

The Record ( — Monday, December 15, 2014

Staff Writer |
The Record

A bill that would require private employers to provide paid sick leave for workers moved forward Monday with backing from the Assembly Budget Committee.

The committee voted 6 to 4 with one abstention to approve the bill, which would enable workers to accrue one hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

Bill supporters say 1.1 million people in the state are unable to take paid sick leave. They say that the bill, if enacted, would make New Jersey one of only three states with a paid sick leave requirement. Opponents say the bill will hurt businesses, adding to what they see as the state's already heavily regulated business environment.

"Earned sick leave is a sensible workplace policy that is good for business and will prove crucial to New Jersey's economic future, stability and strength," said Raj Mukherji, D-Jersey City, a bill sponsor. "Workers who can properly take care of themselves and their families will feel secure in their jobs and be better employees.

Workers at companies with fewer than 10 employees would be able to accrue up to 40 hours of sick time that could be carried over from one year to the next. Employers with 10 or more workers would be required to allow workers to accrue and carry over up to 72 hours of sick leave.

"When you get sick, you shouldn't need to worry about losing pay or even your job," said Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, Executive Director of NJ Citizen Action and spokesperson for the New Jersey Time to Care Coalition, a collection of unions and anti-poverty groups that back the bill.

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