New Jersey mandates paid sick leave

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Gov. Phil Murphy
Gov. Phil Murphy

New Jersey has enacted what the state's governor says is one of the most expansive paid sick leave programs in the country.

The Garden State joins nine other states and the District of Columbia in putting into law a program 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,” Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, said May 2, the day he signed the legislation, A1827, into law.

The law, which takes effect Oct. 29, allows workers to accrue one hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours they work, up to 40 hours each year. Employers can 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 involving the employee's child.

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