Concerns earned sick leave
NJEA supports A-1827 (Lampitt, Mukherji, Green, Wimberly, Sumter, Moriarty) to provide all workers in the state with paid sick leave. Specifically, the bill would provide a minimum of one hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Under the bill, an employee would be eligible to use the sick leave to address his or her own health issues or those of a family member.
NJEA supports a minimum policy for all workers to have access to paid time off while addressing an illness. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 40 percent of all employees do not have paid sick time to address their own illness or that of a family member. That statistic is even higher among workers who earn the lowest wages and can least afford to take unpaid time off from work.
Without a sick leave policy, the health of our school-aged children is put at risk. Parents who cannot take time off from work are forced to send their children to school while they are sick, which further spreads the illness to staff and other students. This poses additional challenges on a school community striving to meet students’ learning needs and achieve student growth.
Moreover, studies have demonstrated the benefits to a child’s health recovery when their parent is able to be with them. According to articles in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, research has shown that when a parent is able to take time away from work and be with his or her child, the ill child has better vital signs, faster recoveries, and shorter hospital stays.
For all of these reasons, NJEA urges your support of A-1827.
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