Emily GirschFeb 12, 2018, 5:11 pmFeb 13, 2018, 10:54 am

Gov. Phil Murphy wants to raise minimum wage, fights for paid sick days

$8.60 minimum wage barely scratches the 21st-century definition of poverty, says Murphy

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PASSAIC — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy was at Passaic City Hall on Monday to discuss a campaign promise of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

"If you do the math and you assume you've got two household incomes and two dependents, you're barely scratching at the 21st-century definition of poverty," said Murphy. "People ask me what's so special about $15 an hour and I ask them, ‘What's so special about $8.60?’"

FiOS1 News spoke with one woman who says she filed a wage claim after working 65 hours a week. She said she was only paid for 35 hours.

"The investigation concluded that they owe me money,” said Hispanic Information Center of Passaic Caretaker Raquel Soto. “Because I filed that complaint ... they retaliated by taking away my vacation days and my sick days."

According to Gov. Murphy, paid sick days are equally as important as raising the minimum wage. And he says he's fighting for that, in addition to raising the minimum wage.

"If you feel confident that you're sick and you're not going to lose your job, you actually have more compassion, higher conviction in your work," said Murphy. "Most of my legislative discussions have been in the arena of a phased-in approach, which is sensible, but this is pass/fail, in my opinion."

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