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Paid Sick Leave: Public Hearing and Changes to Proposal

Member Updates  

There will be another public hearing on the proposed Paid Sick Leave ordinance on Tuesday, January 8th at 5:30pm. This hearing is before the Health and Human Services Committee.

The Committee is taking public comment on the changes they have made to the proposal before voting to move it to the full Council. The vote to move the proposal to the full Council may happen immediately following the public hearing on the 8th, or may happen at a later meeting. Whether or not the vote happens that night depending on whether or not the committee feels as though there are issues they need to resolve before sending it to Council.

Click here to view a “redlined” version of the ordinance or scroll down to see some important changes that may be relevant to your business. 

Original overview of the proposal:

  • Employees would accrue one hour of Earned Paid Sick Time (EPST) for every 30 hours worked, (up to a maximum of 48 hours, or six days, per year). [Note: the new draft states that businesses with ten or fewer employees will be required to provide less paid sick time, see below for details]
  • EPST may be used for an employee’s mental or physical health, injury, diagnosis, prevention, or condition including absence due to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. It may also be used for the care of a family member or to attend a meeting where a family member is receiving care.
  • Employees can use up to 48 hours of EPST per year (or more if an employer allows otherwise). Any unused time must be carried over. [up to a maximum of 72 hours]
  • Unused EPST will not be reimbursable to the employee upon termination of employment (unless the employer allows otherwise)
  • When use of EPST is foreseeable, the employee shall make a good faith effort to provide notice to the employer in advance of the use and shall make a reasonable effort to schedule the use in a manner that does not unduly disrupt operations.
  • Employer may not require employee to find a replacement as a condition of using EPSL
  • For EPST for the illness or condition of an employee or family member of 3 or more consecutive days, employer may require documentation

Important changes made by the committee from the original version:

  • Added exclusions for certain employees, including those who work 60 hours or fewer per year, those who are under no obligation to work a regular schedule, and those who work only when they indicate they are available to work (and have no obligation to work otherwise)
  • Added an exemption for a business for one year after they hire their first employee
  • Added a two tier system:
    • Businesses with 10 or fewer employees would be required to provide 24 hours paid sick leave plus 24 hours unpaid sick leave (for a full-time employee; part-time employees would get prorated amounts).
    • Businesses with more than 10 employees would provide the original 48 hours paid sick leave (for a full-time employee; part-time employees would get prorated amounts)
  • Added a 45 day wait period before the sick time could be used. If an employee (seasonal or otherwise) is terminated and re-hired within one year, the 45 day waiting period would not apply
  • Added a maximum of 72 hours that may roll over to the next year
  • Clarified that Paid Time Off / PTO policies which meet the standards and time off requirements of the ordinance would be allowed
  • Adjusted the accrual so that a business could choose to either give employees the sick days in a lump sum at the beginning of the year or accrue based on hours worked throughout the year (or average monthly)
  • Clarified that tipped workers using paid sick time would be paid in the non-tipped minimum wage
  • Changed requirements for Doctor’s notes: In the first draft, a business would have had to pay for the cost of an employee’s doctor visit if the business required a doctor’s note. This has been removed, and substituted with a requirement that a business accept a signed, written statement from the employee in lieu of a doctor’s note, if the employee does not have health insurance.

This is not a complete list of the changes that have been made. Click here to view the “redlined” version (where you can see what was removed and what was added by the Committee), or click here to read the full proposal at it currently stands, without the previous text.

If you would like to add to the public comment, you can attend and speak at the public hearing on Tuesday, January 8th at 5:30pm, or you can email the councilors on the committee:

  • Councilor Belinda Ray, Chair (District 1):
  • Councilor Brian Batson (District 3):
  • Councilor Pious Ali (At-Large):

Portland Buy Local has not taken a position on this issue but we have surveyed our members and reported back to the City on those results.

As the voice of local, independent businesses at City Hall, we will monitor this proposal as it continues to evolve, and continue to keep you up to date.


Mayor Proclaims “Shop Local Saturday”

Member Updates  

Mayor Ethan Strimling has signed a proclamation honoring Portland’s local business community and declaring Saturday, November 24th to be “Shop Local Saturday.”

The proclamation states:

“Shop Local Saturday PROCLAMATION

Whereas, Shop Local Saturday provides a time to support the independence of the Portland community and the entrepreneurial spirit represented by our core of local independent businesses; and

Whereas, the individual decisions every community member makes today affect the future of Portland; and

Whereas, Portland’s local independent businesses help preserve the uniqueness of the community and give us a sense of place; and

Whereas, Portland’s core of independently-owned businesses give back to this community in goods, services, time and talent; and

Whereas, the health of Portland’s economy depends on our support of businesses owned by our friends and neighbors; and

Whereas, independent locally-owned businesses recirculate a large percentage of revenue locally, creating more local wealth and jobs; and

Whereas, Portland’s independent business owners and employees enrich community members’ shopping experiences with their knowledge & passion;

Therefore, as we celebrate Shop Local Saturday, November 24, 2018, we acknowledge that the ability to choose the direction of Portland lies within each of us and consciously provide an opportunity for the community to participate and convene around our local economy.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ethan K. Strimling, Mayor of the City of Portland, do hereby proclaim November 24, 2018 as: Shop Local Saturday and salute our community members and locally owned independent businesses who are integral to the unique flavor of Portland and honor their efforts to make Portland the place we want to live and work.”


Now Accepting Holiday Gift Guide Submissions

Member Updates  

It’s not too early to start thinking about the holiday season, and we’re already compiling our annual Portland Buy Local Holiday Gift Guide. This online guide is shared with our members and fans, across social media channels, and with the press to highlight some of the fantastic options available for shopping locally this holiday season.
We’re currently accepting gift guide submissions through Friday, 10/26. Submissions are free and open to our members, just enter the relevant information below (or email info (at) to share with us the item you’d like to see featured (including cost, a short description, and a photo). The deadline for submissions is Friday, October 26.

Holiday Gift Guide 2018

indie biz clip

Announcing the Finalists for the Indie Biz Awards!

Events, Member Updates  

After receiving hundreds of nominations for 11 categories for this year’s Indie Biz Awards, we are pleased to announce the following finalists:

Flavor of Portland:

  • Ameera Bread
  • Boda
  • LB Kitchen
  • Oxbow Brewing Company
  • Sisters Gourmet Deli

Healthy Portland

  • Coastal Pharmacy and Wellness
  • Lila East End Yoga
  • Nine Stones Spa
  • Optimal Self
  • Rosemont Wellness Center

Environmental Hero

  • Bangs Island Mussels
  • EcoMaine
  • Maine Island Trail Association
  • Revision Energy
  • The SunriseGuide

Portland’s Best Kept Secret

  • Bogusha’s Polish Restaurant & Deli
  • Chaplaincy Institute of Maine
  • Hour Exchange Portland
  • My 3 Sisters Italian Cookies
  • One Longfellow Square

Business to Business

  • Local Economy
  • Opticliff Law
  • Portland Flea-for-All
  • Systems Engineering
  • Xpress Copy

Portland Ambassador

  • Adam Burk / The Treehouse Institute
  • Creative Portland
  • Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center
  • Portland Public Library
  • Think Tank

Made in Portland

  • Holy Donut
  • Portland Mattress Makers
  • Portmanteau
  • Standard Baking Co.
  • Zootility Co.

Creative Crusader

  • Kafari
  • Maine Academy of Modern Music
  • Maine the Way
  • Still Life Studio
  • Tessa O’Brien / Portland Mural Initiative

Best New Business

  • Heritage Seaweed
  • Little Woodfords
  • Maine Food for Thought
  • Rose Foods
  • Salon Lavender

Portland Icon

  • Great Lost Bear
  • Greater Portland Landmarks
  • Harbor Fish Market
  • Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project
  • Preble Street

Local Love

  • Coffee ME UP
  • étaín
  • Pistol Pete’s Upholstery
  • Silly’s
  • The Fish + Bone

Click here to vote for your favorite.

Only one vote per IP address is permitted. Voting will close on September 15th, and the winners will be announced at the Indie Biz Awards on Thursday, October 4th. Click here for more information about the event.


Shift to Local: Clothing, Books, and Art!

Member Updates, News, Shift  

As part of our ongoing “Shift to Local” campaign, this August we are encouraging Portland residents and visitors to shift a portion of their Clothing, Books, and Art spending to local, independent businesses.

As you are thinking about back to school shopping, think about which local businesses have the goods you need before visiting a chain store. Each dollar you spend at a local, independent business is three times as likely to stay in our community than when you spend that same dollar at a chain store.

To highlight one of the great local art options, we are featuring Adria Moynihan Rusk, owner of Still Life StudioRecently Adria just opened her own art studio and immediately felt the impact of being a part of a local community. She shared, “the amount of support I received from friends, artists, family, and the community was incredible.” Adria’s hope is to attract people of all different ages, all different class levels (even if you’re a beginner!) to come check out the new art studio.

Still Life offers a variety of different art classes from painting, to collages, to silk screening. All of her classes are small and intimate, which gives the students the opportunity to engage with their instructor and make the most of each session. Adria wPhotos courtesy of Still Life Studioas proud to share that one of her patrons who painted at her studio is now going to New York City for the summer to study art at the New York Academy of Art.

Local artists are part of what makes our community a vibrant, thriving place to live and work. By supporting local artists and studios like Still Life Studio, you’re not just helping to create a strong local economy, but also participating in keeping Portland a unique and beautiful community.

Portland also has a plethora of local clothing and book stores. We are fortunate to live in a community with a diversity of local options for back-to-school shopping. Let’s keep it that way by supporting them!

Consider shifting 10% of your clothing, books, and art this month to local, independent businesses to build community and entrepreneurship, while also keeping Portland independent!


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