Steven Fulop (D), mayor of Jersey City, N.J., will propose a bill next week that would require most businesses in the city to offer paid sick days to workers. Any company with 10 or more employees would have to provide up to five paid sick days annually. The bill is expected to pass, as much of the City Council is aligned with Fulop.
“It’s an opportunity to make sure that employers who move here are conscious of this basic dignity for working families,” Fulop says.
If it passes, Jersey City would join New York City; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco; Seattle; Washington, D.C.; and the state of Connecticut in offering paid sick days. New Jersey and Massachusetts also are considering similar laws. About 40% of private-sector workers and 80% of low-income workers don’t have paid sick days.
“This is a matter of basic fairness,” says New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech. “We all get sick and it’s the right thing to do to make sure that workers don’t lose their jobs because of illness. I commend Mayor Fulop for his advocacy and urge quick passage by the City Council. Implementing this type of policy is a win-win for workers and for Jersey City.”