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Newark paid sick-leave ordinance goes into effect

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New Jersey Working Families Executive Director Analilia Mejia.
New Jersey Working Families Executive Director Analilia Mejia. - ()

Newark’s paid sick-leave ordinance officially went into effect Wednesday.

Having been signed in January by Mayor Luis Quintana, Newark is now the second municipality in New Jersey to offer paid sick days, joining Jersey City, which passed a similar ordinance last year.  Across the country, cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C, New York City and Portland also offer similar versions.

“We’re proud that Newark’s paid sick days law will be one of the strongest in the country,” New Jersey Working Families Executive Director Analilia Mejia said. “Low-income workers on the edge shouldn’t be forced to lose a day’s pay or risk their job just because they fall sick. In Newark, fairness and common sense have won the day. This city has set an example for the state and the country to follow.”

Under the ordinance, full- and part-time employees are able to earn up to one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. There is a 40-hour per year cap for businesses with 10 or more employees or those that offer child care, food service or direct care. Businesses with nine or fewer employees will only be required to offer workers at least 24 hours of sick pay per year.

Building off of the momentum from Jersey City and Newark, advocates are gearing up for a statewide paid sick-leave bill, which was reintroduced last month.

“In the last six months New Jersey has become a leader in the fight to ensure workers no longer have to fear getting a pink slip the next time they get sick,” New Jersey Citizen Action Executive Director Phyllis Salowe-Kaye said. “Momentum is on our side and now we’re going to work to ensure the 1.2 million workers without paid sick days receive this basic right.”


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