Residents weigh in on plan to require paid sick leave in Portland


    Portland city leaders heard from the public Tuesday about a plan to require paid sick leave for anyone who works in the city. (WGME)

    PORTLAND (WGME) -- Portland city leaders heard from the public Tuesday about a plan to require paid sick leave for anyone who works in the city.

    If it passes, Portland would become the first community in the state with that requirement.

    People were standing at the door of Portland’s city chambers Tuesday, waiting to share why paid sick leave is needed for everyone in the city.

    Labor activists say it's an issue of public rights and public health.

    A similar statewide proposal was rejected by state lawmakers last year.

    Those opposing the policy say while some businesses offer paid sick time, it should remain a contract between the employer and employee.

    While some small businesses are worried, at least one large company says they're for paid sick time, but question how it could impact the policies they already have in place.

    “We call what’s called PTO, paid time off, which includes, sick vacation, employees are allowed to use that at their discretion,” President of Northern Light Mercy Hospital Charlie Therrien said. “The ordinance's structure might make us carve out the sick time, manage it differently.”

    No decisions were made Tuesday night. The committee will make recommendations to the entire city council and vote at a later date.

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