TESTIMONY IN SUPPORT OF HB 968:
Maryland Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act
TO: Hon. Dereck Davis, Chair, and members of the House Economic Matters Committee
FROM: Ed Hatcher, President, The Hatcher Group
DATE: February 12, 2014
My name is Ed Hatcher, and I am the president of The Hatcher Group. The Hatcher Group strongly supports HB 968, which would allow employees in Maryland to earn and use paid sick leave. We believe establishing minimum earned sick leave requirements for businesses is in the best interest of employees, public health, businesses, and the economy.
The Hatcher Group provides communications services that help clients build strong communities, improve the lives of low-income families, immigrants and at-risk youth, strengthen education and early learning, encourage environmental responsibility and advance the cause of human rights, democracy and social justice. The Hatcher group has 30 employees. It is based in Bethesda, MD, and has offices in Annapolis, MD and Baltimore, MD. We have been named one of the region’s 50 “Great Places to Work” by Washingtonian magazine.
More than 700,000 Marylanders cannot earn a single paid sick day. This means that they cannot care for themselves when they are sick, nor can they take time away from work to help family members recover from illness. As a firm that works to advance our clients’ agendas for progressive social change, we believe that this is simply wrong. But this is not only a moral issue – it is a business issue. As an employer that puts a particular emphasis on providing our employees with good work/life balance, we know that businesses benefit when employees have the flexibility to take care of themselves and their families. When sick workers are able to stay home without risking losing their wages or their jobs, the spread of disease slows, workplaces are healthier and safer, and workers are more productive. Happy, healthy employees are also more likely to be loyal employees. Businesses that are able to retain high quality employees avoid the extremely high cost of turnover.
The Hatcher Group strongly urges a favorable report on HB 968. The Maryland Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act is good for all Marylanders, including businesses.
Ed Hatcher, President
The Hatcher Group