Statement by Ann Twomey on the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Bill

May 2, 2018

As New Jersey’s largest healthcare union we worked with coalition partners to have earned sick days become law. We are proud to have a Governor and legislature that agrees that workers deserve to have time off when ill.

Earned sick leave is for you and for me. It will allow for sick waitresses and nurses to stay home and allow themselves to get better. While they are at home getting better they are also not handing us our food or taking care of us in the hospital. This is good for them and good for us. Some of our friends and neighbors have to go to work when they are sick because missing a shift means missing a rent payment or food for their children.

This new law, just signed by Governor Phil Murphy, is going to bring stability and ease of mind to New Jersey workers who have to choose between going to work and getting better. This law will also allow for us to take care of our families when they are ill. Leaving a sick child, parent or someone close to you is an impossible thing to ask of us when they are in need. Giving healthy people the choice to stay home and take care of loved ones that are ill is just the decent thing to do.

It’s unfortunate that special interests worked against this legislation. It’s even more unfortunate that some nurses and other healthcare workers will be left out. Health professionals with licenses who work on a per diem basis will not be given the same rights as the rest of New Jersey workers.

As a union of health professionals we will not only work to ensure employers honor the law, we will also work to make sure every worker can stay home when they are ill, not at work spreading illnesses to their colleagues or their patients.