Senator Rebecca Millett (D) attended a press conference this afternoon of a coalition of women who support LD 369, a bill that includes a provision for ‘earned paid sick leave;’ a bill introduced by Millett.
Currently, almost 200,000 Maine workers aren’t able to earn even a single paid sick day to care for themselves or a loved one. Women make up a majority of the workers – low- paid jobs that are least likely to allow workers to earn paid time off even as they also shoulder a disproportionate share of family caregiving.
“There’s nothing more heart-breaking than staying home from work at the doctor’s orders only to return to work to find that I didn’t have a job anymore,” said Lynnea Hawkins. a single mother from Lewiston, who lost her job at a call center two years ago after falling ill. We all get sick and we all need to be able to earn paid sick days. It’s that simple,” Lynnea said. (See above photo).
“Access to paid sick days is of especially high importance to women because the low wage occupations where workers are least likely to be able to take time off with pay when they or a loved one are ill are those most commonly held by women – they are caregivers, hospitality and restaurant workers, per diem medical staff, direct care providers, and early childhood educators. Many of them have children who become ill. In fact 7 in 10 mothers of children under the age of 18 and many occupy jobs that come into contact with some of our most vulnerable residents, said Whitney Parrish, Director of Policy and Programs for the Maine Women’s Lobby. (See above photo). “The opportunity is here to lift up Maine women and families. It is time to act and stand up for Maine women and families. Thank you.”