With a new Democratic Governor who supports a paid sick leave law and solid Democratic majorities in both legislative chambers, New Jersey is poised to become the tenth state to enact a paid sick leave law.
Tonight, the Assembly Labor Committee will hold a hearing on the Assembly’s paid sick leave bill (A1827). The bill has the typical PSL architecture: employers must allow employees to accrue PSL at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, to a maximum of 40 hours annually for employers with fewer than ten employees and up to 72 hours annually for larger employers. If enacted, it would be effective 120 days after enactment
Thirteen Garden State municipalities already have PSL ordinances. The pending House bill would not preempt those ordinances. A similar bill pending in the Senate would not preempt the ordinances that have already been passed but would preempt any future ordinances .
While it is always a challenge to handicap the likelihood of a bill’s passing, the stars seem aligned for a PSL bill to pass in New Jersey. Democrats have a 25-15 majority in the Senate and 53-26 majority in the General Assembly. As noted above, Governor Phil Murphy, sworn in this past January, has said he supports PSL statewide. Of the states that have enacted a PSL law, all but one were blue states during the 2016 presidential election (Arizona being the only red state). During the last presidential election, 55.5% of New Jersey voters cast their ballots for Secretary Hillary R. Clinton.
Thus far in 2018, Maryland and Austin, TX have enacted PSL laws. Last year, Rhode Island was the only jurisdiction to pass a PSL law.