NJ governor signs paid sick leave legislation

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy today signed into law paid sick leave legislation he says is one of the most expansive programs of it kind in the country.

Currently only 13 municipalities in New Jersey have enacted earned sick leave for private sector employees. Outside of these municipalities, private sector employees do not have any right to receive earned sick leave. An estimated 1.2 million workers in New Jersey do not have any access to paid sick leave.

“There is no reason anyone should have to choose between economic security and their health,” Murphy said. “After today, New Jerseyans will no longer have to face such a choice. I am proud to sign into law one of the strongest earned leave protections in the country for every hardworking employee who deserves the basic right of a paid sick day.”

The legislation allows workers to accrue one hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours each year. The bill permits employers to create more generous policies that provide additional leave time.

Employees can use paid sick leave for the diagnosis, treatment, or recovery from a mental or physical illness or injury, or preventive care for the employee or a family member. They can also use earned sick leave for obtaining services if the employee or a family member is a victim of domestic or sexual violence. Employees also can use earned sick leave for a school-related meeting or event regarding the employee’s child .

New Jersey joins nine states and the District of Columbia in providing earned compensation for workers who miss work due to illness or needing to take care of a sick loved one.

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