Portland City Council letting Legislature handle paid leave

May 7, 2019

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — City councilors in Maine’s largest city have rejected an ordinance requiring paid leave for workers.

The Portland City Council voted 5-4 Monday against the proposal, with the majority saying a statewide policy would be better than a local ordinance.

A paid-leave proposal is currently working its way through the Maine Legislature.

Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling supported the local paid leave ordinance, arguing that the legislative proposal excludes businesses with fewer than 10 employees. He said that would leave 9,000 Portland workers unable to earn paid sick time.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills helped to broker a compromise on the state bill that would allow workers to earn up to 40 hours of paid time off a year.