Last month’s newsletter reminded our readers that New York City’s Paid Sick Leave law is now in full effect. Continuing the trend, Passaic, New Jersey joined Newark and Jersey City as the third town in the state to pass legislation requiring paid sick leave for employees. New Jersey is also poised to potentially be the third state in the country to do the same.

The Passaic City Council unanimously passed an ordinance requiring employers to provide three to five paid sick days annually to workers working at least 80 hours in a calendar year. The law would take effect within 120 days after Mayor Alex Blanco’s expected signature. Modeled after the Newark law, the Passaic measure requires employers with 10 or more workers to provide 40 hours of paid sick time annually. Smaller employers would only have to provide up to 24 hours of paid sick leave. Employees in child care, home health care and food service industries, however, will be entitled to 40 hours of paid sick leave regardless of their employer’s size.

Like New York City’s Earned Sick Time Act (“ESTA”), the Passaic measure provides for accrual of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. While employees will begin accruing paid sick time from their first day on the job, they would have to wait 90 days to use it. 

The paid sick leave momentum continues, as New Jersey considers the passage of a state bill which would also provide for the accrual of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, providing much needed uniformity for employers across the state. The state measure will be particularly significant to those employers with multiple operations in different New Jersey municipalities. Under the state bill, employers with fewer than 10 employees would be required to provide up to 40 hours of earned sick leave, while employers with more than 10 employees would have to allow up to 72 hours. 

Following the trend, efforts to enact similar legislation is underway in other New Jersey municipalities, including Trenton, Paterson, Irvington, Montclair, and East Orange. On the national stage, the California legislature also recently passed a bill earlier this month that would provide three days of paid sick leave annually to employees in the state. If signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, the measure would take effect on July 1, 2015.