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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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More than 250 companies who do business in Maine have their employees sign away their rights to sue. Mainers who face harassment and discrimination at the workplace deserve better. It is time to ensure a working environment where employee rights are respected and protected.

View full story here.

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