Gov. Murphy signs bill requiring employers to offer paid sick time

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TRENTON -

Gov. Phil Murphy has signed into law a bill requiring employers in the state to offer workers paid sick leave.

Murphy says that workers should not have to choose between getting a day's pay or going to work sick. The signing was held Wednesday in Trenton.

The legislation has been in the works for years. The bill is part of a campaign promise Murphy made to push the state in a more liberal direction.

Under the bill, employers are required to provide one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. The law will take effect Oct. 29.

New Jersey resident Raquel Soto says that she lost her job in March at a nonprofit that helps the homeless because she took too many unpaid sick days. She says that she had to sometimes call out and stay at home with her disabled son.

“I believe that after giving Paterson 13 years of services…that I would have been protected,” Soto says. “That I would have not gotten fired for choosing to take care of my child.”

The New Jersey Nurses Association praised the law, saying that staying home from work is essential to stop the spread of germs and viruses.

Some small business owners were originally exempt from having to offer sick days. But Tony Sandcamp, who owns a woodworking business in Jersey City, says that he has been offering earned sick days since 2013.

“Since I instituted earned sick days, I’ve had greater profits ever since,” he says. “I think part of it is because my employees feel like, ‘As I car more about them they care more about my business.’”

The signing comes after Murphy’s approval to help strengthen the state's equal-pay-for-equal-work legislation as well as increased funding for Planned Parenthood.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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