State Sen. Rebecca Millett, D-Cape Elizabeth, has introduced a bill that will require businesses with more than five employees to allow their workers to accrue paid sick leave. Entitled “An Act To Support Healthy Workplaces and Healthy Families by Providing Earned Paid Sick Leave to Certain Employees,” this bill is incredibly important for Maine people.

Paid sick leave is a crucial labor component for Maine employees and should be considered a necessary provision for all employers. According to the Maine Center for Economic Policy, today, 67 percent of those making $12/hour or less do not earn paid sick leave, which comprises 25 percent of the total working population in Maine. That is unacceptable.

As a college senior soon entering the work force, paid sick leave will play a major role in my occupational decisions.

Maine already suffers due to college students leaving the state for better occupational opportunities. The knowledge that entry-level positions in Maine may not provide paid sick days is a significant deterrent to staying in the state.

Forcing employees to come to work when sick or refusing to pay for unavoidable absences caused by sickness are immoral acts and should not be condoned by the state of Maine.

In order to support Maine employees and generate a job economy more welcoming to workers, I urge Maine representatives to enact this important legislation.

Josh Caldwell, Lewiston