The United States is the only one of 22 nations that ranks highly in terms of economic and human development not to guarantee earned sick leave. Across the country, nearly 40 percent of private-sector workers do not enjoy the benefit, with an estimated one million people in New Jersey lacking earned sick leave, exposing individuals, families and business to such negative potentialities as poor health, the spread of illness, decreased productivity and elevated attrition.
In response, Connecticut, California and recently Massachusetts have implemented or approved statewide earned sick leave, while localities including New York City, Washington, DC, Seattle and Portland, OR have adopted ordinances. In New Jersey, efforts at the local level have proved especially effective, with Jersey City, Newark, Irvington, Passaic, Paterson, Trenton, Montclair and East Orange having advanced ordinances.
Joining New Start New Jersey Chairman and Co-Founder Philip Murphy for a discussion of earned sick leave is Dr. Ruth Milkman, Professor of Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center and a national expert on issues related to work and labor movements.