Rhode Island debates guaranteeing paid sick days

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A proposal to guarantee paid sick days in Rhode Island is being debated by lawmakers.

The Senate Labor Committee is holding a hearing on the bill Wednesday. A recent House hearing was crowded by supporters and some opponents.

The legislation, introduced by Providence Democrats, would require private sector employers to provide workers up to seven paid sick days to care for their own health or a family member’s health.

Connecticut in 2011 was the first state to guarantee paid sick leave, followed by several others.

Maryland’s legislature this month voted to require five paid sick leave days at businesses with 15 or more employees, but Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has threatened to veto the legislation.

Rhode Island Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo has named paid sick leave as a priority.