FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 24, 2017
ANNAPOLIS — Statement from Liz Richards, Coalition Director of Working Matters, on the introduction of SB305, the governor’s sick leave legislation:
The Governor’s bill only covers businesses with more than 50 employees at a particular location. That limitation alone means that hundreds of thousands of workers will be denied the ability to earn paid sick days.
“Governor Hogan’s bill is nothing more than a symbolic gesture that will leave the vast majority of hardworking Maryland families with the same painful choice between paying the bills and taking care of their health. The Governor’s bill only covers businesses with more than 50 employees at a particular location. That limitation alone means that hundreds of thousands of workers will be denied the ability to earn paid sick days. More than 70 percent of foodservice workers now lack earned sick leave, and the Governor’s bill would preserve that unacceptable status quo.
“The Healthy Working Families Act (HB1/SB230), in contrast, allows over 512,000 hardworking Marylanders—full-time, part-time and seasonal workers, many of whom are underemployed or working more than one part-time job to make ends meet—the opportunity to earn sick leave based on the number of hours they work. Though the governor’s bill fails to acknowledge it, employees in medium-size businesses, part-time employees, and employees in seasonal industries also get sick. Many also have families that need their care when they get sick.
“We urge lawmakers to pass the Healthy Working Families Act. HB1 is a meaningful, commonsense and flexible bill that reflects our values as a state and will make a real difference for Maryland’s working families.”
Working Matters is a coalition of more than 150 advocacy, faith, small business, labor, and community organizations, working to pass the Healthy Working Families Act. Learn more: earnedsickdaysmd.org