There is a “gaping hole” in Maine law that allows small businesses to opt out of “even providing unpaid leave” in the opinion of the Bangor Daily News.
In an editorial published last week the BDN called for passage of a paid family leave law, saying the absence of such a state or federal law is a “sad statement” about “prioritizing work far more than family”.
The “gaping hole” the editorial criticized is the Maine law exemption for small employers with fewer than 15 employees. These small employers are not legally mandated to provide up to 10 weeks of unpaid leave in a two-year period and hold the job open for the employee’s return to work.
Small businesses with fewer than 15 employees account for over 80% of the employers in Maine but less than 21% of the workers according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
“What is Maine waiting for?” the editorial asks while pointing to a California paid family and maternity leave law that financed by a “small employee-paid payroll tax”.
Paid family leave is expected to resurface in 2015 as a major issue in Augusta. NFIB will be in the fighting to protect small employers from new and costly government mandates.
With over 40,000 people in Maine unemployed and looking for a paycheck – and many more underemployed – it would be more economically beneficial to everyone if the Bangor Daily made job growth and the creation of new businesses a priority. Maine needs more businesses, more jobs, and more paychecks not more mandates on small employers.