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House Democrats Sick Leave Plan Covers More, Costs Less

Mar 01, 2017

As the debate over paid sick leave heats up in Annapolis, here is a quick refresher comparing General Assembly Democrats’ strong Healthy Working Families Act with Governor Larry Hogan’s watered-down alternative:

Democrats’ Healthy Working Families Act

The reality. Right now, 750,000 hard-working Marylanders can’t earn a single paid sick day. Even going just a few days without a paycheck amounts to a month’s worth of groceries for a family in Maryland.

Public support. A 2015 University of Maryland-Washington Post poll found that more than 8 in 10 Maryland voters support allowing workers at least five sick days a year.

Good for business. A report by the nonpartisan Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) concluded that paid sick leave is good for business, improves workplace productivity and cuts down on costs.

Flexibility for small businesses. The Health Working Families Act requires that employers with fewer than 15 employees must only offer unpaid, job-protected sick leave.

Governor Hogan’s Watered-Down Proposal

Covers half as many Marylanders. While half of full-time, low-income Maryland workers don’t have earn paid sick days, the only people who would benefit from Governor Larry Hogan’s watered down proposal are those who work for large companies and already receive paid sick leave benefits.

The Maryland Center on Economic Policy found in a recent report, “The governor’s bill primarily covers many who already have paid sick leave, and leaves behind the hundreds of thousands of working families who need it most.”

In fact, the report concluded that Democrats’ plan to cover 750,000 working Marylanders “protects twice as many workers as Governor’s proposal.”

Hogan’s allies question effectiveness. This point was made crystal clear earlier this year when GOP House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga openly questioned how many new Marylanders would actually get covered under Hogan’s watered down proposal.

“Szeliga said larger companies with more than 50 employees would not feel the pinch as much under Hogan’s plan because larger companies normally offer some form of paid sick leave. ‘I don’t know a company with over 50 employees that doesn’t offer paid time off,’ she said.”

The following statement was released by Maryland Democratic Party spokesperson Bryan Lesswing:

“Everyone gets sick, which is why Democrats in Annapolis are fighting to make sure that more than 700,000 working families in Maryland don’t have to choose between a paycheck and taking care of a sick child or loved one at home.”

“Meanwhile, Governor Larry Hogan’s plan is so watered-down that even his allies are openly questioning how many working Marylanders his plan would actually cover.”