A new law signed by Governor Phil Murphy requires all employers in New Jersey to provide paid sick days to their workers.
Murphy says New Jersey joins nine other states in providing the guarantee of paid sick leave.
“This is not just about doing what’s right for workers and their families. This is about doing the right the thing for our economy. Anywhere that this has been done has increased productivity and made the economy stronger.”
The law will take effect in October and will benefit more than a million New Jersey workers who don’t have paid sick time.
Employees will be able to accrue one hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Up to 40 hours of paid leave can be carried forward from one year to the next.
East Orange resident Safiyya Muhammad a per diem counselor for special needs parents and does not receive sick pay. She says the new law will mean a lot.
“When our children our sick we have to make the sacrifice of actually still going to work, figuring out what to do with our sick children. And then sometimes when we’re not well, we have to still drag ourselves into work because a day or work lost is a day without pay.”
Dena Mottola Jaborska with New Jersey Citizen Action says the law ensures employees can use their sick time to take time off from work to care for family members.
“There are still employers that don’t let people use their sick time even for their own kids. But even less so for their parents, their parent-in-law, even an adult brother or sister who might not have anyone but you the sibling to care for them”
Advocates say the law will protect public health because workers will be able to stay home when they’re sick without worrying about losing income and won’t come to work and spread their sickness to co-workers or customers.