Working Families United for New Jersey, Inc. (WFUNJ) continues to lead the charge for a statewide earned sick days law. This afternoon, our progressive partners joined together during a Senate Labor Committee hearing to make the case that all workers in New Jersey should have the right to accrue paid sick time to use in the case that they or a family member become ill.
“This is not just a workers’ well-being issue, it is an issue of workplace safety, public health and good principles,” stated Working Families United for New Jersey, Inc. Chair Charles Hall, Jr. “There is no question that if a worker gets sick, he or she should be able to take the day off to rest or seek medical care without having to sacrifice needed income.”
Following supportive testimony from workers, small business owners, labor unions, and community stakeholders, the Senate Labor Committee voted 3 to 2 along party lines to release the bill (S-785/A-2354) with Republicans voting “no” and Democrats voting “yes”. Our coalition thanks Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-37), the bill’s prime sponsor in the Senate, as well as Labor Committee Chair Senator Fred Madden (D-04) for posting the bill to the committee.
We thank all of our coalition partners who continue to make the case to provide earned sick days to the approximately 1.2 million workers in New Jersey who still lack this basic workplace standard. This is a problem that directly affects one in three New Jersey workers as well as impacts public health. Besides the moral and health reasons for providing earned sick days to workers, there are clear economic benefits to keeping illness out of the workplace from increased productivity and employee retention to workers having more money to spend as consumers.
The case for reform is clear. This law would create a moral and level playing field and set a standard which respects the basic needs of all workers in our state, not just select groups. With your continued support, we will succeed in achieving a statewide earned sick days law, and enact a critical workplace standard that will benefit millions of New Jerseyans inside and outside of the workplace.