Author Archive: Analilia Mejia

My parents couldn’t earn sick days. Now I’m making sure everyone in New Jersey can.

Today, NJ Working Families director Analilia Mejia is being honored by President Obama for her leadership in advancing earned sick days laws in nine municipalities across New Jersey. You can watch the live stream of the ceremony here. Below are her thoughts on what this recognition means and the urgent need to ensure everyone in New Jersey has access to paid sick days: 

In New Jersey, 1.2 million workers are unable to care for themselves or their family when illness strikes. This creates an impossible situation for the parent who faces a shortened paycheck and a sick child who should be cared for at home. It also hurts local economies, because every shortened paycheck means groceries left unpurchased. And it threatens our public health when a sick worker feels forced to come into work.

As a child, I often watched my parents make that impossible calculus: care for my sister and myself or make the mortgage payment that month. Take my grandfather to the doctor, and risk a smaller paycheck, or push an appointment back. This issue hits home for far too many in my home state of New Jersey. Medical care goes unsought and illness is spread unnecessarily.

All of this can be prevented with a simple policy that allows all workers to earn time they can take when the inevitable happens.

Tuesday: Earned Sick Time on the Ballot

promoted by Rosi

Next Tuesday, voters have big choices to make. There are a lot of great progressive candidates running in tight races. But if you live in Trenton or Montclair, the most important vote you can cast might just be at the bottom of your ballot. Local paid sick days laws are on the municipal ballots of both cities, and they could make a tremendous difference in the lives of over 20,000 workers within those communities — and eventually to over a million working families around the state.

It’s so easy to take something like access to paid sick days for granted if you have it. When you get sick, or your child gets sick, taking the time to care for them amounts to a minor inconvenience. But for people without paid sick days, each illness could mean either lost pay or a lost job.

These ballot initiatives would help keep the families, communities, and local economies of each town healthy by allowing everyone who works in the city to earn paid sick time they can use to care for themselves or their family members when illness strikes.