N.J. Senate approves six week paid work leave

March 3, 2008 2:51:38 PM PST
Plans to make New Jersey the third state to allow workers to take paid leave to care for a sick relative or newborn have cleared another hurdle. The state Senate approved the bill by a 22-16 vote today after an emotional debate among Democrats backing the bill and Republicans opposing it.

Senate Majority Leader Stephen Sweeney recalled how his daughter required 75 days in neonatal intensive care after being born at 2 pounds. The Democrat said his employer was understanding, but others aren't so fortunate.

But Republican Anthony Bucco said the law would hit small businesses hard amid a sagging economy and force them to go without key workers for more than a month.

The bill is expected to be considered by the Assembly in the coming weeks.

And if both houses pass it, Governor Corzine has said he would sign it.