We, the undersigned individuals, organizations and businesses in Vermont, are writing in support of H. 382, legislation that calls for a minimum number of paid sick and safe days to Vermont workers. We view allowing Vermonters to earn up to 56 hours of paid sick time over the course of a year as a reasonable minimum standard. We urge Vermont legislators to enact H.382.
Research shows that paid time is essential for workers – whether they need to care for themselves, their children or aging relatives, or secure their safety because of domestic violence. Allowing employees to earn limited amounts of paid sick time would decrease the spread of illness in workplaces and would allow them to take care of important health and safety concerns.
Everyone gets sick. Everyone should have time to get better. Unfortunately, no federal or state law currently guarantees paid time off for workers. In Vermont
• Thousands of families are without the most basic support for balancing work and family.
• 57% of private-sector employers do not offer any paid sick days to their employees.
• 106,000 working Vermonters must choose between working while sick or going without pay.
This puts working Vermonters in a no-win situation, imposes costs on businesses and increases the risk of spreading diseases in our communities.
We applaud the great efforts being made by many small and large businesses in Vermont, but sadly acknowledge that many others are not rising to meet this critical workplace and community need. In that absence, we urge the Vermont legislature to pass H.382, An Act Relating to Absence from Work for Health Care and Safety.