Earned Paid Sick Days for a More Stable Workforce and a Family-Friendly Economy
Everyone gets sick, but not everyone can take time off when they do. Our neighbors are going to work sick or sending a sick child to school, because staying home means losing needed income or risking being fired.
- Some 750,000 hard-working employees in Maryland have no access to earned paid sick days.
- Half of full-time Maryland workers earning less than $35,000 a year can’t earn paid sick days.
Without earned paid sick days, Maryland’s children and working families suffer.
- For a typical family without earned paid sick days, just 3.5 days without pay means losing an entire month’s grocery budget. For single-parent families, the situation is even worse.
- Parents without earned paid sick days are more than twice as likely to send a sick child to school or daycare.
- For families among the working poor, losing income due to illness can mean eviction, missed bills, and other extreme financial hardship.
- Women make up half of the workforce, and two-thirds of family caregivers. Yet, 54 percent of working women lack access to earned sick days. One in five reports that they or a family member have been fired or disciplined for taking time off to care for a family member.
- One in four American women is the victim of physical or sexual abuse by a partner. Earned paid safe days let victims of abuse or assault take job-protected time off to get help.
Maryland’s businesses, economy and public health all benefit from earned sick days.
- Earned paid sick days for hard-working Marylanders would mean $132 million in savings each year for Maryland employers, largely from reduced turnover.
- Marylanders without earned paid sick days are more likely to go to work sick and delay needed medical care, leading to prolonged illness and costly emergency room visits.
- For example, in 2009 during the H1N1 flu pandemic’s peak months, eight million workers went to work sick, and may have infected seven million of their coworkers.
Maryland voters strongly support earned paid sick days.
- More than 8 in 10 Maryland voters support allowing workers to earn paid sick days based on the number of hours they work, including 91 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans, according to a 2015 University of Maryland-Washington Post poll.
The Healthy Working Families Act (HB1): A commonsense, meaningful and flexible solution for Maryland’s working families.
- Marylanders who work at businesses with 15 or more employees will earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 5 full days (or 40 hours) per year for full-time workers.
- Part-time workers who work at least 12 hours a week on average, many of whom work multiple jobs to pay the bills and provide for their families, can earn sick days too, accruing fewer days per year based on the number of hours worked.
- Marylanders already employed on the date the new law takes effect will begin to accrue paid sick days at that time. They will not earn time retroactively.
- New employees must wait 106 days before using their earned paid sick days.
- Employers with fewer than 15 employees must only offer unpaid, job-protected sick leave.
Contact: Liz Richards, Coalition Director, 302-290-3939, firstname.lastname@example.org