I am a small-business owner and I was excited to learn that the Legislature’s Labor Committee passed L.D. 369, a bill to guarantee Maine workers the ability to earn paid sick days. I hope that the rest of the Legislature will follow suit.

I live in Appleton and I have the fortune of owning three businesses: Maine’s Best Handyman, Great Woods Construction & Millworks, and Brian Spatafora Photography.

I strongly believe that all workers should have the opportunity to earn paid sick days. Years ago, my mother had cancer and I had to take off time to take care of her and bring her to doctor appointments.

At the time I was working for a manufacturing business and I did not have paid sick days. I had to make the impossible choice of neglecting my cancer-stricken mother and losing a crucial day’s pay.

Of course, I chose to lose those paychecks in order to care for my mother, but it took a big chunk out of my savings. Thousands of Mainers have to make that kind of impossible choice every day.

Many business owners in Maine do the right thing. However, given that nearly 200,000 Maine workers aren’t allowed to earn paid sick time, it is clear that some do not.

The role of government is to encourage policies that benefit the common good. Compare earned paid sick days to vaccines; both have a small cost, vastly improve public health, save us all money, and, yes, are mandated for the common good.

I hope that our state senators and state representatives will do the right thing and vote for earned paid sick days for Maine workers.

 

Brian Spatafora

Appleton


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