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Newark's Paid Sick Days Bill Delayed Until Next Year

Eleventh-hour changes push the final vote into January.

Posted on December 18, 2013, at 8:59 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON — Newark won't have a final vote on its paid sick days legislation until next year, sources close to the discussion confirmed to BuzzFeed.

Late additions negotiated by elected officials and activists were approved unanimously by the city council late Wednesday night. A final vote is now scheduled for Jan. 8.

The additions expand the definition of family to include siblings, allow employees to enforce their rights under the law in court, and give the Department of Child and Family Well-Being the power to enforce the law.

"By broadening the definition of family and adding key enforcement mechanisms, the Newark City Council has strengthened a law that was already set to be one of the best in the nation," Analilia Mejia, state political director of SEIU 32BJ said. "We thank the Council and look forward to the law's passage at the first council meeting of the new year."

The legislation calls for mandatory paid sick time for all full- and part-time employees. It will allow employees to earn up to one hour of paid sick time for ever 30 hours worked, up to 40 total hours for businesses with more than 10 employees.

Businesses with nine or fewer employees will only have to offer 24 hours of sick pay per year.

If Newark had passed the bill tonight, it would have been the fourth city this year to pass such an ordinance, joining New York City, Portland, and Jersey City.

Connecticut, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., also have paid sick day legislation. D.C. voted to strengthen its paid sick days law earlier this month.