Tonight, members of the City Council in Jersey City, New Jersey, took an exciting step toward guaranteeing all workers in the city have the right to earn sick days. This means that the city could soon become the sixth in the nation to have a sick days standard, which is great news for the city, the state and efforts across the country to ensure all workers have this basic right.
More than 30,000 people in Jersey City – and approximately 1.2 million people in the state of New Jersey – cannot earn a single paid or unpaid sick day when they get the flu or other common, often contagious illnesses. As a result, too many are forced to choose between staying home and the loss of the job or the paycheck they need to buy basic necessities like food and gas.
That is why the ordinance being considered by the Jersey City Council is so important. It would guarantee that workers in businesses with 10 or more employees have the right to earn paid sick days, while workers in smaller businesses have the right to earn unpaid days. It will also help to pave the way for the statewide standard New Jersey needs, and a broad-based coalition is working hard to advance.
The good news is that Mayor Fulop is a strong champion of the sick days proposal in Jersey City, calling it a matter of “basic human dignity.” He recognizes the importance of sick days for working families, the public’s health and the local economy. With his leadership, we look forward to Jersey City joining San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Portland, Ore., New York City and the state of Connecticut in leading the way toward a more family friendly America.