Maine Paid Leave Proposal Gets OK in Senate

A bill that would ensure certain employees earn paid time off in Maine is moving through the Legislature

Maine Capitol Building Augusta

A bill to provide paid time off to 139,000 newly eligible workers in Maine is moving through the Legislature.

The Senate approved the bill Tuesday. The legislation received strong committee support and needs additional approvals in both chambers.

The original bill required employers with over five employees to allow workers to use at least 40 hours of earned paid sick leave annually.

The amendment instead requires employers with over ten workers to offer paid leave that could be used for illness. Municipalities, meanwhile, couldn't pass their own paid leave rules.

Senate Democrats estimate the proposal would provide paid time off to 85 percent of all Maine workers.

Maine's Chamber of Commerce warned such legislation would increase business costs.

Supporters say if lawmakers don't act, the matter could go to voters.

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