Paid sick time advocates rally in Burlington - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Paid sick time advocates rally in Burlington

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There's a push for paid sick time in Vermont.

Political leaders, advocates and business owners met at Hen of the Wood restaurant in Burlington, one of the places supporting sick time for employees. The group used Women's Equality Day to call on lawmakers to pass legislation requiring companies to offer paid sick time for employees if they are ill or if their child is and they need to stay home. Supporters say it will help attract young workers to Vermont.

"This is a mechanism to make us more competitive as a state. We already have a lot of hurdles, higher cost of living and when it comes down to it, earned paid leave or paid sick days are ways to combat that and enable a young workforce," said Stephanie Hainley, White + Burke Real Estate Investment Advisors.

"We have instituted a paid leave policy for employees and have learned how important it is for all working Vermonters to take some time off to take care of their responsibilities without fear of losing pay or losing their job," said Eric Warnstedt, Hen of the Wood owner.

Governor Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont, originally opposed the bill earlier this year until it was pared down to require just three days of paid time off. The Vermont Chamber of Commerce says it will hurt businesses' bottom lines. The bill passed the house in April. The Senate is expected to take it up this legislative session.

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