June 22, 2015
Reprinted with permission from the NJ AFL-CIO
Trenton, NJ–Two leaders in the campaign for statewide earned sick leave legislation, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO and its nonprofit partner Working Families United for New Jersey, Inc, testified their strong support for S-785 in the Senate Labor Committee on Monday.
Sen. Loretta Weinberg’s bill requires New Jersey employers to provide paid sick leave so that workers can take time off when they or a close family member becomes ill without being docked a day’s pay or jeopardizing their job. The bill advanced on a 3 to 2 vote.
“This common sense bill allows workers to earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked,” said New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech. “Workers who accrue time off can afford to stay home when they are sick or keep their children home from school when they are sick. This bill is good for workers, good for public health and good for businesses.”
The Assembly Budget Committee released a similar bill, A-2354, in December.
Earned sick days policies bring social and economic justice to workers no matter where they fall on the wage scale. Though a handful of cities and towns have crafted their own sick leave policies, approximately 1.2 million New Jersey workers lack this basic workplace right. In fact, the United States is the only industrialized nation that does not have a national sick leave policy.
“This is an opportunity for New Jersey to be at the forefront of a pro-worker, pro-public health policy,” said Charles Hall Jr., chairman of WFUNJ. “New Jersey’s working families overwhelmingly support this bill to create a moral and level playing field and set a standard that respects the basic needs of all workers in our state.”
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO is a federation of labor organizations representing one million members in the state. Working Families United for New Jersey is a non-partisan statewide grassroots coalition composed of more than 260 progressive, labor, religious, community, civil rights, student, women’s and retiree groups. The State AFL-CIO is a founding partner of WFUNJ.