NJ employers now required to offer paid sick time

TRENTON, N.J. — A bill requiring employers in the state to offer workers paid sick leave has successfully made it past New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk and into law.

Murphy signed the legislation in Trenton at the War Memorial theater alongside legislators on Wednesday. The Democratic governor embraced the bill as part of a campaign pledge to push the state in a more liberal direction.

“A worker shouldn’t have to choose between getting a day’s wages or going to work with the flu,” he said in a tweet before signing the bill.

The legislation has been in the works and a top Democratic priority for years, and New Jersey becomes the 10th state along with the District of Columbia to enact sick-leave legislation.

Wednesday’s signature comes after he also signed into law measures strengthening the state’s equal-pay-for-equal work legislation as well as increased funding for Planned Parenthood.

Under the bill, employers are required to provide one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Workers may earn and carry forward up to 40 hours of sick leave per year.

The new law also gives New Jersey a statewide paid-sick-leave policy, superseding similar provisions enacted in 13 towns and cities.

Lawmakers estimate that roughly 1.2 million workers — many in food and personal-care services — were unable to earn paid sick leave before the new law.

The law is set to take effect in 180 days, which is Oct. 29.