Paid Menstrual Leave in New Jersey

Bridget Mulroy
Women may no longer need to suffer in silence.(PeopleImages/iStock)

It probably wouldn’t shock you to learn that paid menstrual leave is something that most women aren’t aware of. It is very much a thing, and it’s about to become a pretty big thing.

New Jersey intends to recognize paid leave for female employees experiencing their periods. While still within the planning phase, it has yet to be embraced by corporate America. 

It may also not shock you to learn that paid period leave is recognized in Asian countries and other parts of the world – but not yet in the United States. So shocking… [insert eye roll.]

Introducing period-related illness to the list of issues qualifying for paid leave is intended to help women afflicted by debilitating pain, discomfort, and other unsavory symptoms associated with their menstrual cycles. 

The controversy, and main reason why it hasn’t caught as much traction in the United States, revolves around the idea of women taking a sick or personal day instead.

So why?

Why is taking a sick day or a personal day the alternative? Why should a day accrued by working a certain number of hours, be used toward something that will happen again in a month? In a month, the employee has banked enough hours to afford the next round of qualifying sick days – make sense?

If that is acceptable, should men have to work twice as long for their sick days so it balances out?

No, right?

As New Jersey expands on its paid sick and family leave laws, lawmakers have begun to consider adding menstruation as a qualifying debilitation for women to become eligible for paid leave. 

Lots of New Jersey’s new laws are expanding in the same ways the country has shifted over the years. Recognizing this aspect of a female’s struggle is unprecedented in the United States, and New Jersey may be amongst the first states to exercise this.

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Hi, I’m Bridget. I’m based in Red Bank, New Jersey, Calabasas, California, & Manhattan, New York. I cover geology, seismology, botany, biology, & community news. USGS Verified ✅

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