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Poll: Taking New Jersey's Temperature on Whether to Require Paid Sick Leave

The mandate might make NJ far more worker-friendly, but would it discourage companies from doing business in the state?

A labor-backed group is lobbying for New Jersey joining Connecticut as the only two states that require employers to pay their workers for sick leave. The proposal would allow workers to accrue one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours of work. For workers at businesses with fewer than 10 employees, the maximum amount of required paid leave would be 40 hours, while it would be 72 hours for those at businesses with 10 or more workers.

Employer groups are concerned that on the heels of raising the state’s minimum wage a paid sick leave mandate would make the state less attractive for businesses. Both sides plan to lobby legislators over the issue throughout 2014.

What do you think of the proposal to mandate paid sick leave?

  • This is the right thing to do. It’s outrageous that the United States trails the rest of the developed world in not mandating paid sick leave. And it will be good for public health -- who wants sick home-health aides and food-service workers spreading germs? In fact, why wait until the lame-duck session -- enact paid sick leave now.

  • It’s a good idea, but the mandates in the bill may be a bit too onerous. Let’s fine-tune the proposal throughout the rest of the year, so we don’t wind up with a law that we regret.

  • We don’t need to get ahead of the only other state with paid sick leave. At most, New Jersey can consider copying Connecticut’s law and limiting maximum sick leave to 40 hours. It also should exempt employers with less than 50 workers from the mandate.

  • Why rush into anything? We don’t have to take action this year, but the Legislature should keep a close eye on how the two-year-old Connecticut law continues to develop, as well as how businesses in Jersey City and Newark are affected by their local paid-sick-leave ordinances. The state can revisit the issue in a year or two.

  • So, New Jersey has been struggling to improve its image with businesses and now the Legislature wants to put another mandate on businesses? Are you kidding me? If anyone wants to consider this, first weigh the higher costs on businesses and the potential cuts to pay and hours that may result from these costs. If this goes through, it’s another nail in the coffin of New Jersey’s economy.

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