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Kunin pushes for paid sick days, minimum wage hike - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Kunin pushes for paid sick days, minimum wage hike

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

Time is running out for supporters of a paid sick day bill.

Tuesday, former Governor Madeleine Kunin, flanked by local businesswomen and lawmakers, urged the governor and legislative leadership to approve both earned sick days and a minimum wage boost to help working families. The group points to polls that show a majority of Vermonters support the idea. And with women making up two-thirds of minimum wage workers, Kunin says it boils down to a question of gender equality.

"The workplace is still structured as if daddy works and mommy stays home. Well, the reality is nobody stays home in most families now to care for the elderly, to care for the child and that's why we need that kind of flexibility of paid sick days. So, we still have time in this legislative session to turn this in a positive direction," Kunin said.

While some businesses support the idea, it's opposed by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.

Governor Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont, while being outspoken about minimum wage has said earned sick days is a complex issue that needs to be further vetted.

Right now, Connecticut is the only state to mandate paid sick leave.

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