STATEMENT: Passage of New Jersey Paid Sick Days Bill Is a Major Victory for Working Families

Washington, D.C. — Today, the New Jersey State Senate passed the New Jersey Earned Sick and Safe Days Act, a bill to offer employees the ability to accrue up to five days or 40 hours annually in earned sick time. The bill will help more than 1 million New Jersey workers who have no access to earned time off for illness. The state now becomes the second largest in the country to pass paid sick days.

Shilpa Phadke, vice president of the Women’s Initiative at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement on the bill’s passage:

Passage of progressive earned sick days legislation in New Jersey is a major victory for working families. It is possible thanks to the activism of people across the Garden State, led by the NJ Time to Care Coalition and Gov. Phil Murphy (D), rising up to say that anyone willing to put in the hours should have the dignity of earning paid sick time.

With inclusive coverage of family members and other significant relationships, this bill respects all New Jersey workers and will particularly help members of the community more likely to take time off to care for chosen family, such as LGBTQ people and people with disabilities. No one should be at threat of losing their job to take care of a sick child or recover from an illness.

Earned sick days are good for the U.S. economy. They boost worker productivity, reduce employee turnover, and ensure the safety of our workplaces and communities at large. If Congress refuses to lead on this issue, the working people who made this victory possible are saying to states and localities across the country that they must.

Please find additional information about the positive effects of earned sick days here. For more information on why New Jersey’s progressive “chosen family” definition is critical for roughly one-third of the workforce, please click here.

For further information or to connect with an expert, please email Colin Seeberger at cseeberger@americanprogress.org or call 202.741.6292.