Maryland is now primed to become the eighth state, not including the District of Columbia, to extend the basic of protection of earned paid sick days to Maryland families
ANNAPOLIS – The Maryland House of Delegates today voted by a veto-proof majority of 87-53 to fully pass the Healthy Working Families Act (HB1), effectively passing the bill out of the Maryland General Assembly. After five years of introducing the measure in the Maryland General Assembly, today marks final passage of the bill to guarantee earned paid sick days. HB1 will now head to the governor’s desk.
After five long years of fighting for this basic protection for Maryland families, the Working Matters Coalition is thrilled to see this commonsense bill passed by the Maryland Legislature. We thank our bill sponsors, Delegate Luke Clippinger, Chairman Mac Middleton and Chairman Dereck Davis, whose leadership made this victory possible, as well as the 87 Delegates and 29 Senators who took a stand for Maryland’s working families.
All eyes are now on Governor Hogan, who has the opportunity to sign or veto the bill, or let the bill be enacted without his signature. HB1 would allow Marylanders to earn one hour of sick leave for every thirty hours they work. Over the five years it’s been introduced, the Healthy Working Families Act has been the product of years of compromise, deliberation and input from all stakeholders, including businesses and employees alike.
“The Healthy Working Families Act is a fair and reasonable solution to a very serious problem,” said Liz Richards, Director of the Working Matters Coalition. “Today, Marylanders are facing impossible choices between things like sending a child to school sick or missing the paycheck they need to pay the grocery bill that week – all because they don’t have a single paid sick day. We urge Governor Hogan to do the right thing and sign this bill, which would be a boon to our state’s economy and make a meaningful difference in the lives of over half a million Marylanders.”
Polls have consistently shown that 8 out of 10 Marylanders – Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike – support a guaranteed earned paid sick days standard like the one the Healthy Working Families Act provides.
In the past year alone, a number of compromises were adopted to make the Healthy Working Families Act a bill that strikes a fair balance for Marylanders:
- The minimum number of earned paid sick days required was reduced from seven days to five days.
- The probationary period during which an employee may accrue but not use their sick days was increased from 90 days to 106 days.
- The threshold of hours worked in order to qualify for earned paid sick days was increased from 8 hours to 12 hours per week on average.
- Additional provisions were added to protect businesses in the rare event an employee exhibits a pattern of abusing leave.
The Working Matters Coalition now calls on Governor Hogan to sign the Healthy Working Families Act as soon as possible. Maryland families can’t wait.
The Working Matters coalition is a group of 160 faith, labor, health, small business and community organizations that have fought for five years to bring earned paid sick days to the State of Maryland. Currently over 750,000 Marylanders do not have access to a single paid sick day, forcing them to make impossible choices between their work and the health of their family.