Aug 7, 2014
Sick of No Sick Days
A grassroots coalition delivered thousands of petitions to five city governments in New Jersey this week, kicking off a campaign to put earned paid sick leave on ballots in November.
If activists deliver enough signatures, voters in Irvington, Montclair, Passaic, Paterson, and Trenton will soon vote on local ordinances that would require employers to offer earned sick time. Newark and Jersey City already enacted earned sick days laws, which allow private-sector workers to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours they work. And on Monday, East Orange introduced legislation based on the Newark ordinance.
Coalition members include CWA, New Jersey Working Families, New Jersey Citizen Action, the New Jersey Time to Care Coalition, New Jersey Communities United and SEIU 32BJ.
"This is an unprecedented grassroots campaign to bring earned sick days laws to a diverse set of communities in New Jersey," said Dena Mottola Jaborska, Director of Organizing and Strategic Program Development, executive director of New Jersey Citizen Action and spokesperson for the statewide Time to Care Coalition. "It positions New Jersey as a leader in the fight for this common sense policy, and it builds unstoppable momentum for a statewide bill that will cover the 1.2 million New Jerseyans who can't earn a single sick day."
Support is strong. An overwhelming majority (83 percent) of state residents support earned sick days laws, according to a poll conducted by Rutgers' Center for Women and Work.