New Jersey Workers Who Started Accruing Paid Sick Days When Law Took Effect Can Begin Using Them on Feb. 26th
HAMILTON – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy today joined state lawmakers, advocates, employers, and workers at Princetel, a local manufacturer, to tout the Garden State’s new paid sick leave law. As of February 26th, workers who started receiving paid sick leave when the law took effect last October can begin taking advantage of their accrued sick days.
Under the law Governor Murphy signed last May, New Jersey became the 10th state to require employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave.
“Last May, New Jersey enacted some of the strongest earned sick leave protections in the country to ensure that no one would have to choose between taking care of themselves or a sick relative and their performance at work,” said Governor Murphy. “This law is improving the lives of many hardworking men and women and making New Jersey a healthier place to live and work. I am proud to stand with our working families and continue making New Jersey a better place for all employees.”
“We believe earned sick time is a basic right that benefits not just workers, but their families, their employers, and the public,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “Allowing workers to earn time off to care for themselves or a relative promotes healthy workplaces and communities, lifts families, and encourages a stronger, fairer economy.”
“Thanks to Governor Murphy, the state’s new policy will provide workers at every point on the pay scale relief from needlessly struggling when they are sick or have a sick family member,” said Barry Zhang, CEO of Princetel. “Employers should welcome the move since a healthy workforce is a happy workforce and retaining talent is critical for all companies.”
Under the law, full-time and part-time workers earn paid time off at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, with the employer being given the option to advance its employees earned sick leave at the beginning of each benefit year. Employers must allow employees to carry over 40 hours of accrued sick leave from year to year. Workers began accruing sick leave last October 29th, but the law allowed a 120-day waiting period before workers were eligible to use their newly accrued sick days. The waiting period ends today.
Under the law, employees may use earned sick time to care for themselves or a sick family member; to address issues related to domestic or sexual violence, such as seeking treatment or obtaining a restraining order; to attend a child’s school-related meeting or event; or when schools, child care centers, or businesses are closed due to a public health emergency. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the agency responsible for implementing the law, has embarked on a public information campaign to make workers and businesses aware of the law and provide them with guidance on how to follow it.
Today’s event was held at Princetel, a Mercer County-based manufacturer of fiber optic rotary joint products for military, biomedical, wind energy, and other uses.
More information on New Jersey’s paid sick leave law may be found at www.mysickdays.nj.gov