Vermont becomes fifth state to require paid sick leave

Vermont becomes fifth state to require paid sick leave

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Sick family (photo: Flickr / Q Family)

The law requires that employers provide a minimum of three paid days off a year to employees who have worked for at least 90 days, full time.

By Mariela Hernandez

WASHINGTON (Talk Media News) – Vermont became the fifth state to require employers to provide paid sick leave to workers on Wednesday.

Vermont’s Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin signed bill H.187, requiring that employers provide a minimum of three paid days off a year to employees who have worked for at least 90 days, full time, that can be used when sick or to care for a family member. In the case that those hours are not used, they will be carried over to the next year.

The law stipulates that employers with more than five employees must provide the benefit next year, while those with five or fewer have until 2018. The number of days increases to five days in 2019.

President Barack Obama quickly praised the move, and called on Congress to help “catch up with other advanced nations and provide this basic security to all Americans.”

“This action means thousands of families will no longer have to choose between losing income and taking care of a sick child,” Obama said in a statement released Wednesday. “It’s a choice no one should have to make.”

More than 60,000 working residents lack access to paid leave, according to a Vermont Department of Labor study.

Obama urged, in the statement for other states to follow Vermont’s lead.

Vermont joins Connecticut, California, Massachusetts and Oregon as states mandating paid sick leave. More than 20 cities and the District of Columbia also have mandatory paid sick leave.

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