Forcing Jersey City businesses to offer mandatory paid sick-leave to their employees will end up doing more harm to the local economy than good, and a comprehensive study should be conducted before the plan is implemented.
That's the message coming from New Jersey Business and Industry Association in a letter to Mayor Steven Fulop from the industry group's assistant vice president for labor and development.
"While we understand the desire to help workers, we feel that this ordinance will have a negative impact on both large and small employers," Stefanie Riehl wrote. "Given the potential for unintended consequences, we suggest that a comprehensive study be undertaken prior to implementation (as opposed to one year following implementation). Otherwise, we believe the proposal could compromise the economic engine that Jersey City has become and hurt the very people it intends to help."
To the dismay of several business groups, Fulop announced earlier this month that he plans to make the city the first in New Jersey to require that employers provide paid sick days for their workers.
Fulop today said that the plan would prove beneficial to both Jersey City residents and those employed in the city. He drew on similar measures enacted across the country as examples of how successful he believes the ordinance could be.
Under Fulop's plan, employees would earn one hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours worked with a cap at 40 hours per year. Employers with 10 or more workers will be required to offer both full and part-time workers the opportunity to earn up to five paid sick days per year. Those with nine or fewer employees would still have to offer up to five unpaid sick days per year.
The matter is set to go before city council Wednesday when it next convenes at 6 p.m.
The NJBIA and a coalition of other business groups also are battling a similar measure introduced in the Assembly last spring by Pamela Lampitt (D-Voorhees). The Lampitt bill would require employers to offer workers one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, with a cap at five days per year for businesses with less than 10 employees and nine days for those with 10 or more.