Vermont Joins Growing Trend of States Requiring Paid Sick Leave

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Vermont has become the fifth state to require employers to provide paid sick leave to workers.

Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin signed the bill Wednesday. Supporters say about 60,000 Vermont workers do not have paid sick time.

The law requires employers to provide a minimum of three paid days off a year for employees to use when they are sick or to care for a child or family member. Employers with more than five employees must provide the benefit next year while those with five or fewer have until 2018.

The mandatory amount increases to five days in 2019.

Vermont joins California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Oregon as states mandating paid sick leave. More than 20 cities and the District of Columbia also have mandatory paid sick leave.

In a statement, President Obama said he commends the new law.

"The action means thousands of families will no longer have to choose between losing income and taking care of a sick child," he said. "It's a choice no one should have to make."

Obama added that he's urging other states to follow this lead until Congress acts to "provide this basic security to all Americans." 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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