May 2, 2018, Trenton — Governor Phil Murphy today signed into law one of the most expansive paid sick leave programs in the nation, fulfilling his commitment to support working families and strengthen New Jersey’s economy. New Jersey now joins a select group of states – nine plus the District of Columbia – that have enacted paid sick leave to provide earned compensation for workers who miss work due to illness or needing to take care of a sick loved one.

“There is no reason anyone should have to choose between economic security and their health,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “After today, New Jerseyans will no longer have to face such a choice. I am proud to sign into law one of the strongest earned leave protections in the country for every hardworking employee who deserves the basic right of a paid sick day.”

Currently, 13 municipalities in New Jersey have enacted earned sick leave for private sector employees. Outside of these municipalities, private sector employees do not have any right to receive earned sick leave. Overall, an estimated 1.2 million workers in New Jersey do not have any access to paid sick leave.

The legislation, A1827/S-2171, allows workers to accrue one hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours each year. The bill further permits employers to create more generous policies that provide additional leave time.

Employees may use paid sick leave for the following:

  • Diagnosis, treatment, or recovery from a mental or physical illness or injury, or preventive care, for the employee or a family member
  • Obtaining services if the employee or a family member is a victim of domestic or sexual violence
  • Circumstances arising from a public health emergency
  • A school-related meeting or event with regard to the employee’s child

Sponsors of the legislation include Senators Loretta Weinberg and Linda R. Greenstein and Assemblymembers Pamela R. Lampitt, Raj Mukherji, Shavonda E. Sumter, Paul D. Moriarty, Benjie E. Wimberly, and the late Jerry Green.

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