Gov. Shumlin Signs Healthy Workplaces Bill...Now What?

Main Street Alliance Releases Paid Sick Days Implementation Resources for Vermont Businesses

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(Left) Eliza Cain and Randy George, owners of Red Hen Baking Co. in Middlesex and longtime supporter of earned leave
(Right) Caleb Magoon, owner of PowerPlay Sports in Morrisville and Waterbury Sports

MONTPELIER, VT - With Governor Peter Shumlin’s signature on the Healthy Workplaces bill today, The Main Street Alliance of Vermont launched an informational webpage for businesses to use as a resource and to ensure they are in compliance with the new law. The page includes pertinent information for businesses, a series of frequently asked questions, links to research on paid leave laws in other states, and contact information for businesses to use should they have additional questions.

“We want this page to be a go-to for Vermont businesses as they consider their own leave policies, and we hope it will help bring businesses into compliance with the new law,” said Lindsay DesLauriers, Director of Main Street Alliance of Vermont. “We welcome additional questions from business owners and plan to update and add to our page as the new law rolls out.”

The page, which can be found at vermont.mainstreetalliance.org/psd, primarily contains information for employers. However, it will also link to information that will be useful for employees.

“Offering paid time off to our employees was one of the best business decisions we’ve ever made,” said Eliza Cain, owner of Red Hen Baking Co. and longtime supporter of the legislation. “I believe that businesses who have remaining concerns about this new law will begin to see its benefits.”

Over the past few years, Main Street Alliance has worked to engage businesses across the state in conversation around earned leave, and in the years of debate and compromise, business owners have come around in support of the bill. One such business owner, Caleb Magoon, owner of PowerPlay Sports in Morrisville and Waterbury Sports, spoke at the bill signing.

“Initially, I was not a supporter of mandating paid sick leave, but today, I truly believe it’s one of the best benefits you can give,” said Magoon. “Because businesses were invited to the table to engage on this issue, we ended up with a policy that is good for employees and addresses the needs and concerns of Vermont’s small business owners.”

“This morning, the building is filled with early childhood educators who are ecstatic about the paid sick days bill because they know that without paid sick days parents will be forced send their kids to childcare and school sick,” said Representative Helen Head, who chairs the House committee that worked on the bill and who was the original sponsor of the first paid sick days bill introduced in Vermont roughly a decade ago.

Vermont is the fifth state to pass an earned leave law.

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