Paid sick leave now required for most Maryland businesses

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WMAR) - After years of trying, lawmakers passed a bill that requires paid sick leave at many Maryland businesses. 

On Friday, the Senate voted to override Governor Hogan's veto of the Healthy Working Families Act. The bill will now require businesses with 15 or more employees to provide up to five days of paid sick leave.

This legislation will affect over 700,000 workers in the state. 

"Earned sick leave is widely popular across the state, and passage of this bill will make life a little easier for thousands of hardworking Marylanders,” said Caryn York, Executive Director of the Job Opportunity Task Force. “No longer will working families have to choose between taking care of themselves or loved ones and paying for rent or groceries.”

In a statement Governor Hogan's Deputy Communications Director, Amelia Chassé wrote, "Now that this political posturing is over, it's time for the legislature to get down to the business of fixing the serious flaws in this bill that Senator Middleton and numerous others openly acknowledged today. Given their own admission that HB1 will hurt small businesses, we urge legislators to fast track the governor’s Small Business Relief Tax Credit to ensure employers aren’t forced to close their doors and lay off their employees. Instead of frantically trying to buy time by pushing off the effective date of their bill, legislators should come to the table and pass the governor’s compromise solution to protect workers and job creators."

Some lawmakers have been pushing for the bill for the last five years. A coalition has formed since it was first introduced, which includes 160 businesses and organizations fighting to pass the bill. 

For more information on the coalition click here. 

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