JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s second-largest city has passed legislation requiring businesses to offer employees paid sick leave.
The Jersey City Council passed the earned sick days bill by a 7-1 vote on Wednesday night, and Democratic Mayor Steven Fulop supports it.
Once Fulop signs the bill, Jersey City will become the first city in the state and the sixth in the country to guarantee sick days.
Workers at employers with 10 or more employees would accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked and could get up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year.
Workers at smaller employers would also accrue sick time, but the employers would not have to pay for the sick time.
Fulop, who was elected in May, praised the council’s action. He said paid sick leave is not only a matter of basic human dignity but also a public health initiative that’ll benefit all Jersey City residents and workers.
“Paid sick leave will help working families in Jersey City so they won’t have to choose between missing a day of work and caring for their own health or that of a family member,” he said in an emailed statement.
Workers were ecstatic. Security worker James Burks said the legislation means he no longer has to worry about losing pay or getting fired if he needs to take time off when his daughter gets sick.
“All families deserve that kind of basic security,” he said, “and I’m proud that my city is doing its part to protect working families struggling to get by.”