TRENTON - Trenton could soon be the next New Jersey city to require local businesses to provide paid sick leave.
Advocates for the new legislation dropped off signatures at City Hall Tuesday encouraging the mayor to support the benefit for all workers. The city council would have to approve the measure. Trenton Councilwoman Marge Caldwell Wilson said Wednesday she'd support the idea.
"I think this is a good thing and I think the businesses need to get on board because it's not going to cost them any more," she says. "And you get a much more productive worker if you have a healthy worker."
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This plan could soon go statewide with support from Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto. He says lawmakers will move forward on a vote to bring paid sick leave to every town in New Jersey.
Prieto says the Assembly will begin considering the issue in September. He is proposing that workers accrue an hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked. That would translate to about eight days a year for full-time workers.
Newark and Jersey City already approved a law for mandatory paid sick leave. East Orange introduced a sick leave ordinance on Monday. Petitions were also submitted to put the issue on the November ballots in Trenton, Irvington, Montclair, Passaic and Paterson.
Prieto says it makes more sense to have one requirement statewide. Connecticut is currently the only state with such a measure in place.