7 days, 7 ways to help 700,000 Marylanders
Little more than a week after Mother’s Day, Governor Hogan has six days left before he must make a decision on the Healthy Working Families Act, which would allow over 700,000 Marylanders to earn sick days. Governor Hogan’s approval of the measure would make a particular impact on Maryland women, 1 out of 4 of whom are unable to earn a single paid sick or safe day.
“For the 1 out of 4 Maryland women who are unable to earn a single paid sick or safe day, the importance of HB1 cannot be understated,” said Liz Richards, Director of the Working Matters Coalition. “Women are increasingly the breadwinners in Maryland households, so it’s no surprise that family-friendly policies like earned paid sick days are supported by over 8 out of 10 Marylanders. We urge Governor Hogan to take this opportunity to support Maryland women by signing the Healthy Working Families Act.”
Day 2: HB1 supports Maryland women and allows working mothers to better care for their families
When Megan Sennett, an Annapolis single mother of 3, got sick a few years ago, she tried to power through it. At the time, Meagan was working three part-time jobs to support her family, none of which provided any earned paid sick days. As a result, Megan’s condition worsened, eventually landing her in the hospital. But without earned paid sick days, Megan was unable to take the time her doctor advised she needed to recover. “It took probably a good two months to get back up on my feet after having a whole week off with no pay with three part-time jobs,” said Megan. “This bill could have benefited me. I could have taken a day or two off and not ended up in the hospital months behind on my bills.”
Megan’s experience is no anomaly. An estimated 1 out of 4 Maryland women do not have access to a single earned paid sick day. That figure rises nationally for African American women – 40% of whom cannot earn paid sick days – and higher yet for Latina women – nearly half of whom are unable to earn paid sick days. Earned paid sick days would protect the paychecks of these women and help keep their families financially stable.
But the Healthy Working Families Act doesn’t only provide sick leave – it also provides safe leave for victims of domestic violence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 23.6 percent of American women and 11.5 percent of men reported being a victim of intimate partner violence at some time in their lives. The National Partnership for Women and Families states that women who experience intimate partner violence work, on average, three months less than women who do not experience intimate partner violence, which negatively affects long-term job stability and economic wellbeing. Diana Philip, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, highlighted in a recent Working Matters blog post the benefits that the Healthy Working Families Act would have on these women:
“Victims of crime need access to immediate safe leave in order to safeguard their health and safety, as well as their dependents. Having earned days set aside helps many with their plans to break free from the cycle of violence. Victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and/or stalking should not be placed in further crisis by having to choose between timely healthcare or intervention and loss in pay or job. Earned safe leave should be a right – not a privilege.”
Maryland women deserve better. It’s time for Governor Hogan to sign the Healthy Working Families Act.
Follow updates at www.earnedsickdaysmd.org and stay tuned for Hogan Watch Day 3 tomorrow.
Everyone gets sick, but in State of Maryland, not everyone has the time to get better. The Healthy Working Families Act (HB1) would allow over 700,000 Marylanders without any earned sick leave the ability to take time off work to care for their families when illness strikes. The result of five years of compromise and careful deliberation with stakeholders at all levels, HB1 would allow 488,000 Marylanders working at businesses with 15 employees or more to earn paid sick days, and allow another 216,000 working at businesses with less than 15 employees to earn unpaid sick time with job protection.
#7days7ways #HoganWatch #SignHB1