January 12, 2018: More Marylanders will now be able to earn sick leave, thanks to this week’s veto override of the Healthy Working Families Act. Today the Maryland Senate voted 30-17 to override Governor Larry Hogan’s veto, following yesterday’s successful 88-52 vote in the House of Delegates.
With the passage of the HWFA, Marylanders will no longer have to choose between taking care of their health and making a living. The Act allows employees in businesses with 15 or more employees to earn one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours they work, up to a maximum of five paid sick days. Employees in smaller businesses will earn unpaid leave. Currently, there are more than 750,000 Maryland workers in the private sector without access to any paid sick days. It is estimated that about 488,000 Marylanders will be able to earn paid leave under the HWFA, while at least another 205,000 will earn unpaid leave, such that the bill provides a benefit to more than 90% of Maryland employees.
This victory is the result of hard-fought advocacy by the Working Matters Coalition, legislators, and people like you. As a leader of Working Matters for the past six years, the Public Justice Center’s Workplace Justice Project provided legal expertise in the drafting of the Act, testified in support of the bill, and most importantly, fought against harmful amendments, striving to keep a substantive Act that would ensure coverage to as many Maryland workers as possible.
We thank our bill sponsors, Delegate Luke Clippinger and Senator Mac Middleton, whose leadership made this victory possible, as well as the Delegates and Senators who took a stand for Maryland’s working families. And finally, thanks to you for all your calls and emails to legislators in support of earned sick leave!