New Jersey workers could soon get long-awaited paid sick time

Paid Sick Days

New Jersey workers could soon get long-awaited paid sick time

The New Jersey workers who have come to work sick or taken days unpaid to nurse a cold could soon receive paid sick time from their employers under a bill passed Thursday by the state Legislature.

The legislation, variations of which have been making its way through the Statehouse for years, would allow private-sector workers to accrue one hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

They can use that time to care for themselves or a family member who is ill, to attend school conferences or meetings, or to recover from domestic violence.

The bill (A1827) passed the state Senate, 24-11, Thursday after passing the state Assembly last month.

More than a dozen New Jersey towns have put in place their own requirements, but there is no state-level law guaranteeing private-sector workers earned sick leave, and about 1.2 million workers here don’t get paid sick days.

Lower-income workers are much less likely to have paid sick leave. One study found only three in 10 workers with income below $20,000 had this benefit, while eight of every 10 workers earning $65,000 or more did.

Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, has said he would back such a law, and this bill now heads to his desk for his signature.

The measure is opposed by business industry groups, who say small businesses will struggle to afford and conform to this one-size-fits-all approach.

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