Maine paid sick leave proposal fades away

Posted March 19, 2010, at 11:28 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Senate President Elizabeth “Libby” Mitchell has given up on requiring employers to offer paid sick leave but she hasn’t given up altogether.

The Vassalboro Democrat told the Legislature’s Labor Committee that she now wants to prohibit Maine employers from firing workers who take sick days, paid or unpaid.

Mitchell proposed the sick leave requirement as swine flu was reaching a crescendo. Under pressure, she scaled back her original proposal to cover only businesses with more than 50 workers.

She says there’s not enough support for the paid sick leave requirement because of the sour economy. But she says she still wants to protect sick workers from being fired. So far, there has been no committee vote. The Labor Committee has yet to vote on her revised proposal.

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