BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland’s new sick leave policy has gone into effect.
It took a lengthy battle, and faced many setbacks from both Gov. Larry Hogan and the state Senate.
While most Maryland employers provide paid sick leave, analysts estimated about 700,000 people didn’t have the benefit which this law will now change.
Supporters have been fighting to pass Maryland’s paid sick leave policy for six years.
It passed last year, but was immediately vetoed by Gov. Hogan.
“This legislation is an ill-conceived, poorly written, complicated and confusing, and inflexible mess,” Hogan said after it was passed.
Earlier this year, the House voted to override that veto. Then the final hurdle; the Senate voted to delay it until July, but that delay didn’t make it past the House.
“Now have the opportunity to ensure they are investing in their employees in a way that their employees will invest back in them and be a productive worker,” said Karyn York, executive director of the Job Opportunities Task Force.
York believes this law will help both the employers and employees.
It applies to businesses with at least 15 employees, providing one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, and businesses with fewer than 15 get unpaid job protective leave, which also applies to part-time workers.
“We have hundreds of thousands of part-time workers who don’t have this benefit. who live in fear if they get sick or if there is an incident that involves domestic violence that they may lose their job, so this provides them job-protected leave,” York said.
This law requires businesses to provide five days of sick leave for full-time employees. Backers of the policy see it as an overall benefit for both companies and their staff.
Paid sick leave needs to be used within a calendar year and cannot be carried over.