AUGUSTA, Maine — The Governor has signed a bill into law designed to establish earned paid sick leave for a large number of Maine's workers.

On Tuesday, May 28, Gov. Janet Mills approved L.D. 369, "An Act Authorizing Earned Employee Leave", sponsored by Sen. Rebecca Millett (D-Cape Elizabeth).

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The bill provides paid leave for 85 percent of all Maine workers. It also exempts more than 40,000 of Maine's 50,792 businesses.

The bill requires that employers with more than 10 employees for more than 120 days each year, allow those employees to earn paid leave based on base pay. An employee is entitled to earn one hour of paid leave from an employer for every 40 hours worked -- up to 40 hours total per year.

Employees would have to work 120 days before employers are required to allow use of paid sick time. Workers would also have to give reasonable notice to their supervisors of their intent to use paid leave.

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"I don’t know anyone who hasn’t gotten sick or had a child who’s gotten sick. That’s just life, and such unexpected circumstances should not break the bank for working Maine people," said Gov. Mills in a statement Tuesday. "This forward-looking policy is good for our economy, good for our workforce, and it shows what we can accomplish when we work to find common ground."

L.D. 369 won bipartisan support in the Legislature and has the backing of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce.

"Under the stewardship of Gov. Mills, this legislation has achieved a balance which will minimize detriments to Maine businesses, while supporting working families and strengthening our economy," said Dana Connors, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. "While no one achieved everything they wanted, this new law is the product of bipartisan work, and I am thankful for how we have come together since its introduction."

According to the National Council of State Legislatures, 10 states have paid sick laws.

The law will take effect January 1, 2021. 

The entire bill reads as follows: