The Democratic race for governor heated up today over Ned Lamont’s opposition to state legislation that would require businesses to offer paid sick days to employees.

Dannel P. Malloy, the former Stamford mayor, criticized comments Lamont made in an interview with the Connecticut Mirror.

“There are certain basic rights that should be afforded to any working person in Connecticut, and paid sick leave is certainly among them,” Malloy said. “It’s wrong that we would penalize workers – salaried or on hourly wage – for being ill. A person should not have to worry about missing a rent check or a mortgage payment because they catch the flu.”

In early polling, Lamont and Malloy are the leaders in a crowded field of potential candidates for the Democratic nomination. Lamont said that a mandate on paid sick days could “send the wrong signal” about the state’s business environment.

“Ned doesn’t get it. Ned says he thinks ‘…we deal with sick leave just fine at the small-business level where I live.’ But that’s the problem: most people don’t live in that world. Ned’s statement shows just how disconnected he is from the concerns of the average working person in Connecticut,” Malloy said in a statement.

Lamont, who is expected to formally announce his candidacy later this month, could not be reached for comment.

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