The Maine legislature recently failed to pass legislation that would have protected Maine workers who could not come to work because they were sick. Initially, the proponents of the legislation wanted to pass a law that would require employers to provide paid sick leave. When they could not garner enough support for that bill, they narrowed the legislation to only prohibit employers from terminating employees who cannot work because they or a family member are sick. Even that scaled back bill failed. As a result, many workers with contagious diseases, like swine flu, will be forced to come to work sick or lose their jobs.
You should know that an employer can terminate you for missing work because you are sick unless you fall under protections for employees with disabilities, workplace injuries, or serious health conditions. If you believe your employer has terminated you unfairly because you missed work due to your own health problems, or the health problems of a family member, you should contact an experienced employment lawyer.