ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The lack of access to paid family and medical leave is a widespread problem with Marylanders in every county in our state and it needs a solution.
Advocates for family leave in Maryland say they have a solution.
Once again a bill is being introduced to accommodate employees who need extended leave. This bill would require employees to allow workers to take leave up to three months for an illness, to take care of another sick family member or for the care of a new baby.
Delegate Kriselda Valderrama had a job that did not provide this and had to take leave for her mother with Alzheimer's. The experience was devastating to her.
"To only be questioned why I took such a significant leave off and to explain to them when I did tell them why I was doing it, I was not reprimanded or anything but, to me that was a reprimand to question my intention to why," Valderrama said.
The bill would have the employer and the employee split the cost for the program which would be between $3 and $6 a week.
Andy Shallal owns the Busboys and Poets Restaurants. He has three restaurants in Maryland with 300 employees. He says it makes perfect business sense..
"In an effort to attract the best and brightest people, you need to have benefits. People are asking for it and they need it," Shallal said.
We reached out to the Maryland Chambers of Commerce for a comment and did not receive a response back.
If Maryland passes the family leave bill, they would be the 10th state along with the District of Columbia to have such a bill.
Although this bill has been proposed in the past, some feel because the pandemic has highlighted the need to take care of sick family members and the fact this is an election year, the bill has a better chance to pass than it has in the past.