While Marylanders celebrate the season and holiday cheer spreads across the state, Governor Hogan, with his recently released earned sick days legislation, has placed a lump of coal in all of our stockings.
Governor Hogan’s earned sick days legislation, which was crafted in secret, leaves hundreds of thousands of families out in the cold and fails to provide earned sick days for the Maryland workers who need them most. The Governor’s bill only applies to companies who employ over 50 people, with a three year phase in, and worst of all, will allow corporations to opt out of providing sick leave for their employees.
“This toothless legislation is just the Governor’s latest attempt to deny hundreds of thousands of hardworking Marylanders the ability to earn sick leave,” said Caryn York of Jobs Opportunities Task Force (JOTF). “By allowing companies to opt out, coupled with his veto of HB1, the Governor is sending a clear signal that he doesn’t care about providing sick days for Maryland workers.”
HB1, the Healthy Working Families Act, is the culmination of over five years of negotiation and compromise and has been widely supported among Maryland legislators. HB1 will cover 700,000 Maryland workers and will not affect existing leave policies that already provide the minimum coverage. Although the Governor vetoed HB1, the override campaign is well underway with a majority of legislators signifying they’ll vote to override the veto.
Earned sick leave is not just popular among Maryland legislators, it has received widespread support throughout the state. In a recent Mason-Dixon poll, 74% of Marylanders said they support HB1, while 57% said they support overriding the Governor’s veto.
“Across the state, Marylanders are speaking up in favor of earned sick days,” said York. “Employees support HB1. Small business owners support HB1. The policy debate on whether or not working families deserve sick leave is over. We look forward to the vote on overriding the Governor’s veto.”
In Baltimore, Tuesday, December 5th, supporters of earned paid sick leave will gather along with Maryland State Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam to share their stories on why earned sick leave is important to the health and well-being of all Marylanders. Please join us at Extended Families Adult Medical Day Care at 7pm.