Health Care Groups Urge NJ Lamakers To Pass Sick Leave Bill

Feb 26, 2018

Emergency room nurse Beth Cohen says the measure could help prevent spread of flu.

Health care groups are seeking a New Jersey law requiring all employers in the state to provide earned sick days for their workers.

Beth Cohen is an emergency room nurse at Virtua Hospital in Mount Holly. She says some people who don't have paid sick leave aren't getting treated for the flu.

"They come in so sick. It's not even just the flu or pneumonia. They're septic from letting it go so long. And then we're sending so many people to intensive care, many hospitals not just ours, because of that." 

Advocates say some parents without sick time have sent sick kids to school because they can't afford to stay home to care for them. 

Judy Schmidt is CEO of the New Jersey State Nurses Association. CEO Judy Schmidt says mandated sick pay might be cost effective for employers.

"What we're saying to our businesses is, yes, it is an expense to them, but it's better to pay for that one employee to be out with a paid sick day than it is to have three or four of your employees out because they have been contaminated by that employee."

Senator Loretta Weinberg has introduced legislation that would require employers with under 10 workers to offer five paid sick days. Larger employers would have to provide 9 paid days.