In November Montclair will join Trenton to vote on a ballot question to adopt an ordinance which would require Montclair private-sector employers to allow their employees who work in the Township to accrue paid sick leave. In August, the Township Council had the opportunity to enact the ordinance without it going to the ballot, but elected to leave the decision to the voters after receiving a petition with 1,106 signatures in favor.
Freeholder Brendan Gill, Deputy Mayor Robert Russo, and 3rd Ward Councilman Sean Spiller have been vocal supporters of the ordinance. On the other side of the debate, Upper Montclair Business Association President Diane Esty has questioned the impact on small business owners and how it could be enforced by the township.
The ballot question and explanation reads as follows:
Shall the voters of the Township of Montclair adopt an ordinance which would require Montclair private-sector employers to allow their employees who work in the Township of Montclair to accrue paid sick leave at a rate of one hour of paid sick time for each 30 hours worked; employees who provide food services, child care, or home health care, or who work for employers with ten or more employees would be entitled up to 40 hours of paid sick leave each year, and other private-sector employees wouldbe entitled up to 24 hours of paid sick leave each year?
The purpose of the Ordinance is to ensure that workers h ave the ability to address their own health needs and the needs of their family members; to diminish the public cost of health care; to protect the health of the public by reducing the risk of and spread of contagious diseases; to safeguard the public welfare, health, safety and prosperity of the people of Montclair; and to protect residents and workers in the Township of Montclair from losing their jobs or facing workplace discipline as a result of illness and the use of sick time to care for themselves or their family members.
How will you vote — Yay or Nay? Tell us in comments.