by Kevin J. Skelly
Paid sick leave laws are gaining ground in New Jersey, as new laws in several cities are scheduled to take effect in the coming weeks and months.
Paterson, Irvington, Passaic, Newark, East Orange, Jersey City, Trenton, and Montclair have passed laws either in city councils or, in the case of Trenton and Montclair, in the November general election.
Jersey City was the first city in the state to pass a paid sick time law, with its law going into effect in January 2014. Newark’s law took effect in May. The laws in Paterson, Irvington, East Orange, and Passaic go into effect in January 2015. Voters in Trenton and Montclair passed versions of a paid sick leave law in the November election, and their laws are to take effect March 4.
The laws provide for certain exceptions, but they generally require employers with at least 10 employees to provide 40 hours of paid sick time to each employee in a calendar year. Employers with fewer than 10 employees must provide 24 hours of sick time to each employee in a calendar year.
The cities are taking action while an effort is under way to pass a statewide law. Assembly Bill 2354 last saw action on October 27, when it was referred to the Assembly Budget Committee. Governor Chris Christie has voiced concerns about the bill’s effect on the state’s economy, but he hasn’t said what he will do if the bill passes, according to media reports.