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Series continues Sat. March 14 in Waterville

Mainers for Working Families hosted the first of several Community Conversations last night to talk about what Mainers and our representatives in Augusta can do to ensure working families can thrive in the Pine Tree State.

The discussion on March 4 at The Quarry Tap Room in Hallowell focused on expanding overtime protections, the benefits of repealing the estate tax exemption and how to reign in millions of dollars annually for the state of Maine by closing a corporate tax loophole.

Our panelists, Wendy Larson, owner of Slates Restaurant and Bakery, Rep. Charlotte Warren (D-Hallowell), and James Myall, a policy analyst with the Maine Center for Economic Policy, offered real-world insights into how Maine can lead the way in lifting up the quality of life of its workforce while supporting local businesses.

Don’t miss our series of Community Conversations over the next few weeks:

Community Conversations (exact locations and times TBD):

Saturday, March 14, Waterville

Thursday, March 26, Augusta

Thursday, April 2, Damariscotta

Want to stay in touch and get updates on Mainers for Working Families news and events? Sign up for our newsletter here!.

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As a longtime small-business owner, I can tell you that the foundation of any successful business is our employees. When they feel valued, our businesses thrive. And if employees work hard and put in extra hours, they should be paid for that time.

That used to be the case back in the day. In the 1970s, more than 60 percent of salaried workers qualified for overtime. However, these days as few as 7 percent of salaried workers are eligible for overtime. To make matters worse, the Trump administration has announced a rollback of Obama-era rules expanding overtime protections that would have helped and denying thousands of Mainers the right to be compensated for their work. It hurts small businesses to have burnt out or resentful employees who are having to work extra hours for zero pay.

That’s why I was heartened to learn about LD 402, which would put Obama’s overtime protections in place for more Maine workers. It helps us return to a Maine where workers can be with their families after a hard day’s work.

David White

Bar Harbor Note: This letter originally appeared in the Bangor Daily News.

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Mainers are being required to give up their right to sue their employers in the event of wrongdoing and instead having to agree to forced arbitration upon being hired. This is a direct assault on workers rights here in Maine, and a new bill, LD 1693 could end this practice. Read the bill here.

Read the Maine Beacon article here.

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