Bill Gives Workers A Half-Hour Break

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(Host) Under legislation advanced by the Vermont House, employers would have to offer workers half-hour breaks every six hours.

Sponsors of the bill said it’s needed because some companies do not give their employees time off to use the bathroom.

But Duncan Kilmartin, a Republican from Newport City, said the bill would lead to litigation and confusion.

(Kilmartin) "Mr. Speaker, it’s unworkable, and if I were cynical person or a cynical attorney, I would say thank-you you just created a pay-day for lawyers."

(Host) But St. Johnsbury Democrat Robert South told a personal story that he said illustrated why the bill was needed. He said his daughter had been injured in a car accident and was taking medication to reduce fluid in her body. But when his daughter went back to work running the cash register at a local grocery store, South said her employer refused to give her time for bathroom breaks.

(South) "She has to go because of this fluid, and the supervisor at the time told her no, said we don’t have anybody to cover your register. She said can you do it, she says no. So she called me and said Dad what am I supposed to do, I have to go to the restroom I have to go now. So it does happen in Vermont."

(Host) The House advanced the employer break bill on a 78 to 56 vote. It comes up for final approval today.

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