We are closer than ever to making earned paid sick days a reality for hundreds of thousands of Maryland families. But Governor Larry Hogan has vowed to veto the Healthy Working Families Act, which would allow workers at businesses with 15 employees or more to earn one hour of paid sick leave for every thirty hours they work. Workers at businesses would be able to earn un-paid time off.
Without earned paid sick days, Marylanders will continue to face impossible choices between their work and their family’s wellbeing – which often results in them coming to work sick and infecting other employees, which can wreak havoc on a business.
The Healthy Working Families Act (HB1) is a commonsense, reasonable solution to a very serious problem. As business owners, let’s tell Governor Hogan that we SUPPORT HB1 and hope he signs it into law as soon as it hits his desk.
To: Governor Larry Hogan
We are Maryland business owners representing the diverse business community throughout our state. Collectively, we have businesses of all sizes, of all backgrounds, and offer a variety of services we are proud to provide to our clientele. We have come together because we all agree that earned paid sick days make good common sense.
For this reason, we write to urge you to sign the Healthy Working Families Act (HB1) when it hits your desk.
We know from experience that healthy workers are productive workers. Yet 750,000 Marylanders today are not able to earn a single paid sick day to care for themselves or a loved one when they’re ill. As a result, these employees face impossible choices between their health and their well-being – and often choose to go into work sick, infecting other employees. This is damaging for any business, and puts employees and customers at risk.
The status quo is simply too costly. Studies have shown that “presenteeism,” or workers performing at less than full productivity because of illness, is estimated to cost employers $160 billion a year — twice as much as the cost of absenteeism due to illness. We’ve seen that when employees can take the time they need to recover, they recover quicker and come back to work quicker. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research estimates that providing earned paid sick days would yield benefits of $132 million annually for Maryland employers, largely due to savings from reduced turnover.
We believe the Healthy Working Families Act (HB1) strikes a fair balance that serves both employees and employers. It would require businesses with 15 employees or more to allow workers to earn one hour of paid sick leave for every thirty hours they work. Smaller businesses with less than 15 employees would only be required to provide un-paid leave. We also recognize that part-time workers also get sick and can risk infecting their employees. The Healthy Working Families Act recognizes this basic fact by allowing part-time workers to earn paid sick days proportional to the number of hours worked. Because they accrue less, a part-time worker will earn less sick and safe leave time than a full-time worker. We believe this strikes a fair, reasonable balance.
With the Healthy Working Families Act (HB1), all employers can reap the rewards of increased business efficiency, instead of competing in a race to the bottom. Polls show the bill is supported by over 80% of Marylanders – Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike. This is a policy with the potential to make a meaningful difference for the hundreds of thousands of Marylanders currently living without a single day of sick and safe leave.
We urge you to sign this commonsense piece of legislation so that Marylanders – business owners and employees alike – can start reaping the benefits.
Please sign HB1 when it hits your desk.
Thank you for your consideration.