Over 750,000 Marylanders are not able to earn a single paid sick day. Each time they get sick or need to care for a sick child, they are forced to choose between their health, their family’s well-being, and a day’s pay. Some may even lose their jobs for missing a shift to see a doctor or care for a loved one. Along with many of my colleagues, I co-sponsored the Healthy Working Families Act (HB 1) to address the challenges too many working Marylanders face when they or a family member falls ill. And I am very proud to say this legislation passed both the House and Senate.
Unlike the Governor’s proposal, which would have mandated sick leave only for businesses with 50 or more employees and people working 30 hours or more per week, this bill will apply to businesses with 15 or more employees and to people who work part-time. The governor’s proposal would have excluded hundreds of thousands of people, including many people working almost 30 hours a week or working more than 30 hours per week at multiple part-time jobs. Passing strong earned sick day legislation was important to me because it will benefit all Marylanders and it is the right thing to do.
This bill made its way to the Governor’s office, and was promptly vetoed. We will not let this challenge to working families go unanswered in the next session.