Open Letter to the Vermont Legislature

February 26, 2015
Open Letter to the VT Legislature:
Dear Representatives,
It came to our attention that earlier this week a number of business associations contacted you to register their opposition to H.187, the new Healthy Workplaces bill that would establish a minimum standard of earned paid leave for all Vermonters.
We are writing to offer a different perspective. We understand that it is the job of most associations representing business concerns to object to regulations. As individual business owners running our businesses here in Vermont, we feel that this proposal has struck a balance that will work for us and still provide support to working Vermonters who aren’t currently fortunate enough to work for businesses that provide paid time to their employees.
Many of us on this list came to support this issue this year as result of the work that was done to ensure that this new proposal was modest and flexible for businesses. We support this proposal as a middle ground solution to a clearly identified need. 60,000 Vermonters currently don’t have any paid time off whatsoever and this hurts Vermont’s families and is bad public health policy. We aren’t just employers, we are members of our communities and H.187 will work for all of us.
Among the business owners who have voiced personal objections to this proposal, most already provide paid time to their employees. Most of us who are signing this letter of support also provide paid time off to our employees, but some of us do not. All of us support this proposal and the creation of a base-line level playing field for employers and employees alike.
Speaking as business owners and employers who are running businesses of all sizes and across several industries, we do not hesitate to reassure you that the modest standard of earned paid leave, as proposed in H.187, can easily be integrated with the minimum wage to ensure that all working Vermonters have stable income and manage their health.
We, the undersigned, strongly encourage you to support and pass the new Healthy Workplaces bill.
Melinda Moulton      CEO Main Street Landing                        Burlington
Eric Warnstedt         Hen of the Wood Restaurants                  Burlington and Waterbury
Caleb Magoon,          PowerPlay Sports                                       Morrisville
Randy George           Red Hen Bakery                                         Middlesex
Eliza Cain                  Red Hen Bakery                                         Middlesex
Wayne Nelson           L.N. Consulting, Inc.                                 Winooski
Joseph Cicotta            LineSync Architecture                           Wilmington
Julie Lineberger         LineSync Architecture                           Wilmington
Nancy Braus               Everyone’s Books                                    Brattleboro
Jennifer Chiodo        CX-Associates                                           Burlington
Kay Curtis                Happy Hands Learning Center               Brattleboro
Janet Carscadden   Evolution Yoga and Physical Therapy     South Burlington
Brent Farrell              Vitality Vending                                      Essex Junction
Kathryn Grana         Montgomery and Merrill PC                   Burlington
Marc Sherman          Outdoor Gear Exchange                          Burlington
Andrew Brewer        Onion River Sports                                   Montpelier
Geo Honigsford        Hurricane Flats Farm                             South Royalton
Donald Babcock        The Bookmobile                                       Rutland
Stephanie Hainley   Business and Professional Women        Burlington
Ruthellen Weston    The Bookmobile                                       Rutland
Tiffany Silliman-Cohen Silliman Massage and Bodywork     Burlington
Beth Sachs                  VT Energy Investment Corp.                 Burlington
Wes Hamilton     Three Penny Tap Room, The Mule Bar, and Mad Taco in Montpelier, Winooski, and Waitsfield
Marcia Merrill            Montgomery and Merrill PC                 Burlington
Colleen Montgomery   Montgomery and Merrill PC              Burlington
Paul Millman            Chroma Technology                                 Bellows Falls
Michele Kropp           Gringo Kitchens                                      Manchester, VT
Kiki McShane              Fucci Associates                                    Rutland