As one of the snowiest winters comes to an end, a New Jersey state senator introduced a bill that would protect workers from traveling to work in harsh weather conditions.
Senator Peter J. Barnes III (D-Middlesex) proposed legislation that would prevent employers from requiring New Jersey employees from using any sick, vacation, or personal days during a state of emergency, NJ.com reports.
“When the state or a municipality declares a state of emergency it is often because weather conditions are so terrible, it is simply too unsafe to venture out on the roadways,” Barnes said. “We have recently seen severe snow storms that have left New Jersey roadways slick and dangerous and in years past, storms such as Hurricanes Irene and Sandy have left communities completely incapacitated.”
Barnes added that New Jersey residents should be able to make their own decisions about traveling in dangerous weather conditions without having to worry about retribution or loss of sick or vacation days.
Employees of public safety agencies, such as police and fire departments, are exempt from the bill.
Employers who violate the provisions of the bill would be subject to a penalty of up to $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for each additional offense.