JERSEY CITY - Most employees in Jersey City will be now guaranteed paid sick days thanks to a new bill signed into law by Mayor Steve Fulop on Monday.
The ordinance guarantees five paid, earned sick days for employees. Workers will earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to five days a year.
Steve Kalcanides, the owner of Helen's Pizza, says he is already providing the benefit to his employees because he doesn't want sick workers around his food. "It's the right thing to do," he says.
The law will go into effect in January of 2014 and will apply to companies with 10 or more employees.
Fulop says the law will be enforced. "There are penalties in place," he says. "There's a posting requirement in each business to provide education to each employer and employees."
Karina Cruz, who works at Helen's Pizza, loves the idea. "Now I don't have to worry about missing a day," she says. "Because a day out of work hurts my paycheck weekly."
Councilman Michael Yun voted 'no' on the measure. "I'm afraid it will discourage new ventures from coming into Jersey City," says Yun. "And business owners may be afraid to create new jobs."
The ordinance will be reviewed in one year.
Jersey City joins New York City and all of Connecticut in adopting a measure guaranteeing paid sick days.