We are asking our Portland members to reach out to Portland City Council and tell them you do not support a city-mandated Paid Sick Leave policy.
This ordinance impacts ALL employers, even those who offer generous PTO benefits!
On Monday, April 8 the Portland City Council will hold a public hearing on the mandatory paid sick leave ordinance which was recently voted on, and approved by the Health and Human Services Committee. This ordinance will impact every business in Portland – even if you already offer generous PTO benefits.The language does not exempt anyone, but rather requires everyone to be in compliance.
If your business offers a generous PTO policy you will be required to carve out five days for sick leave for every employee. You will need to track and record when your employees take sick time to ensure you are in compliance. This is a step backwards in terms of employee benefits best practices and NOT what employees want. Key aspects of this proposal:
All businesses would need to comply – there is no exemption for smaller businesses OR for businesses that currently provide generous paid time off benefits.
It applies to all employees who work a minimum of 120 hours a year – full-time, part-time, seasonal, most per diem.
Employers must provide 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.
The waiting period to use paid sick time for new employees is 70 days.
Employers must retain records documenting hours worked by employees and earned paid sick time taken for 3 years.
Violation would result in a fine of up to $100 per offense. Each day of the violation is a separate offense.
Ordinance allows employees to bring civil action against the employer for any ordinance violations.
Statewide Paid Sick Leave Effort:
The Maine State Legislature is also considering a paid sick leave law mandating employers with more than 5 employeesprovide at least 5 days of paid sick leave annually to all employees but providing an exemption to those who offer PTO benefits.
If a mandatory paid sick leave ordinance is going to be implemented, it should be done on the statewide level. Currently, there is a chance that both the Portland ordinance and the statewide law will pass – meaning those in Portland follow the Portland ordinance, and the rest of the state complies with the statewide law.
What We Need From You:
1. Please attend the public hearing and share your concerns with this ordinance. We know the proponents will be there in mass and it’s critical that they see an equal number of employers there as well. If you can attend, please let us know by sending us an email. This is the last public hearing on this issue before it goes for a final vote.
2. Email all Portland City Councilors. We need to make sure the councilors hear from all of us. Please send an email with your thoughts and concerns to all councilors below. Focus your comments on the impact this will have to your employees. If you have locations both in and out of Portland, talk about how you may have two sets of requirements (one state law and one city ordinance) to comply with.
OUR ASK OF CITY COUNCIL: Do not vote in favor of this ordinance and instead wait for the State Legislature to act.
3. Continue to share the word about this ordinance! There are still so many employers out there who are not aware of this ordinance OR who think they are exempt because they offer PTO. No one is exempt! Every business will need to make sure every aspect of its paid sick leave policy is in compliance with this ordinance. Almost no employers' current paid sick leave policy will match the city's proposal.