In early September 2013, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop proposed an ordinance that would require employers to provide sick time. On September 25, 2013, the City Council of Jersey City voted 7-1 to pass sick time legislation, becoming the first city in New Jersey—and the sixth in the country—to guarantee sick time. Mayor Fulop signed the bill into law on October 21, 2013.
Following the passage of Jersey City's paid sick time law, a growing number of cities in New Jersey also took action on the issue, including Newark and 8 other cities. However, these cities passed paid sick time laws that were more expansive than the one in Jersey City. With the strong support of the mayor, and bolstered by research showing that the paid sick time law had worked well and benefited Jersey City, the City Council voted on October 28, 2015 to expand Jersey City's paid sick time law and bring it into line with the other 9 cities with such laws in New Jersey.
In private-sector businesses with 10 or more employees (and all child care, home health care, and food service workers, regardless of the size of their employer), workers will be entitled to accrue and use up to 40 hours of paid sick time a year. In private-sector businesses with fewer than 10 employees, workers will have a right to accrue and use up to 24 hours of paid sick time a year.
Under the law, workers can use paid sick time to recover from their own illness or to care for sick family members. The law covers a broad range of family members (children; parents; the parents of a spouse, domestic partner, or civil union partner; spouses, including same-sex spouses; civil union partners; domestic partners; grandchildren; grandparents; a grandparent’s spouse, domestic partner, or civil union partner; and siblings).
A study on the first year of the law is available from Rutgers' Center for Women and Work.
For more information on the Jersey City law and other paid sick time laws around the country, see A Better Balance’s comparison chart of paid sick time laws.
The City of Jersey City has issued (in English, Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, and Tagalog) answers to frequently asked questions regarding the law.