Earned Sick Leave Benefits Employees, Families, Business, and Economy (July 8, 2017)

By Maryland Delegate Karen Lewis Young

This letter is in response to state Sen. Michael Hough’s letter of July 2 stating that paid sick leave is a bad idea and the General Assembly should vote to sustain the governor’s veto.

The letter referenced neglects to explain that the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act is actually about earning sick leave:

  • Full-time employees earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to seven days per year.
  • Part-time workers can earn sick days too, accruing fewer days based on the number of hours worked.
  • Employees already employed on the date the new law takes effect will begin to accrue paid sick leave at that time. They will not earn time retroactively.
  • New employees must wait 90 days before using their earned paid sick days.

A University of Washington study on Seattle’s paid sick leave bill found that the costs to employers and the impact on business has been modest and much less than anticipated. In fact, 70 percent of employers support the law. These business owners, managers, and human resources professionals view paid leave as a valuable and important benefit for their workers. Anecdotal cost information puts the cost of providing leave at about .004 percent of total revenue. There is no evidence that the law caused employers to go out of business or leave Seattle.

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