Maine Women's Lobby

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Paid Sick Days

L.D. 1665, a bill that would have provided paid sick days for Maine workers, is over. Done. Deadsville... For now.

While this is a time of extreme disapointment for those who care about basic workplace protections for everyone, it is also a time of rare opportunity.

Yes, opportunity.

When legislators leave the State House this week or next, those running for election will be hitting the campaign trail, knocking on doors, marching in parades, attending events, and covering the busy summer fair schedule.

Let's take this opportunity to ask candidates where they stand on the issues we care about ... including paid sick days.

Breaking News: Paid Sick Days to be Considered in 2010 

The Maine Legislature will soon consider L.D. 1665, "An Act to Prevent the Spread of H1N1." The bill, sponsored by Senate President Libby Mitchell, would guarantee paid sick days for Maine workers. By taking action to enable workers to take care of themselves during this public health crisis, Maine lawmakers will protect business productivity and the public's health.

Please call your legislators right now to ask them to support L.D. 1665.

How? Simply leave a message with your name, address, phone number and the message "Please vote for L.D. 1665, 'An Act to Prevent the Spread of H1N1."

Leave a message with your Senator at 1.800.423-6900
Leave a message with your Representative at 1.800.423-2900
Find out who your legislators are here.

Why? While everyone gets sick, not everyone has the chance to get well. Right now, more than 200,000 Maine workers lack even a single, paid sick day from work. "An Act to Prevent the Spread of H1N1 would allow workers in small businesses to earn approximately 3 paid sick days, and workers in large businesses would earn up to about 6 paid sick days. Individuals could use their earned paid sick time for routine illness, to care for a family member in the event of a public health emergency, to recover from illness, receive preventative care, or to use in relation to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

What's next? The bill has had a public hearing before the Labor Committee, and will soon be scheduled for a work session. Check back here for dates and times, or contact us at to find out how you can help. Thank you!

Are you a business owner who supports paid sick days?

Please sign our petition here and support workplaces across the state.

Got a Paid Sick Day Story? Share it!

Do you have access to paid sick days? Have you always? Research says probably not.

Many Mainers don't have access to a single paid sick day. Not one day. This means going to work sick, and putting their co-workers - and all of us - at risk.

At the Maine Women's Lobby, we are working toward paid sick days for all Maine workers. Please take a moment to answer six easy questions about how the lack of paid sick days has affected you.

Prefer to share your story over the phone? Send Charlotte an e-mail with your name and number, and she'll give you a call.

Answer six easy questions.


Do you have a story about the need for paid "safe days" for victims of violence?

A victim's ability to exit a violent relationship is tied to her economic security. Without job stability, one is more likely  to stay in a violent relationship. We need to guarantee that victims of violence, and their family members, are able to access necessary services without fearing for their job.

The Maine Women's Lobby is working to advocate for legislation that would provide a minimum number of paid "safe days" for victims of violence and their family members.

Share your story and help us advocate for victims' rights: Answer these 3 questions

Prefer to share your story over the phone? Send Charlotte an e-mail with your name and number, and she'll give you a call.


Are you an employer that provides paid sick days?

Let us know.

Maine Families need Paid Sick Days.

Maine Families Need Paid Sick Days

See more pictures.

Send us your picture and win a free Maine Women's Lobby t-shirt! Contact Charlotte for details.

Paid Sick Days Update

No one should have to choose between their own health, or the health of a loved one, and their job. Unfortunately, nearly one out of every two full-time workers in Maine lacks a single paid sick day. Three out of four low-wage workers are denied paid sick days. In fact, the sectors least likely to have any paid sick time are those in child care, nursing home care, food service, and accommodations. See a trend here? These occupations are most often filled by women. Talk about a women's issue - paid sick days are a must for working mothers, caregivers, and every worker in Maine. It's just common sense and common decency.

Everyone gets sick; everyone should be able to afford to get well.

The 123rd Legislature considered L.D. 1454, "An Act To Care for Working Families." This bill, sponsored by Rep. Jackie Norton (D-Bangor), would have provided one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked at establishments with 25 or more employees. For full-time workers, that adds up to nine days a year to use to care for themselves or a close family member when illness strikes.

Despite a robust and overwhelmingly supportive public hearing before the Labor Committee, months of direct lobbying by our lobbyist and key coalition partners, countless phone calls and e-mails from activists all across the state, and an edgy media campaign demonstrating broad support, the bill did not advance last year.

We know that Maine people do support earned sick days - and that it is the right step for Maine's economic future.

At the Maine Women's Lobby, we continue to work on paid sick days for all Maine families. Do you have a paid sick days story to share? Contact Charlotte to share it!


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