In 30 days, Maryland will be the ninth state in the U.S. with paid sick leave. The state legislature overrode a veto by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan this week:
Despite a strong effort by Hogan to convince Democrats to abandon the legislation, which he said would hurt businesses and potentially invade workers’ privacy, the Senate voted 30-17 to override the veto, one vote more than was needed.
The House of Delegates overrode the veto on Thursday.
The action was a win for progressive groups that pushed for six years for Maryland to join other states in forcing businesses to give their workers paid time off when they are ill. Companies with 15 or more employees will be required to provide five days of sick leave a year.
Family Values @ Work co-director Wendy Chun-Hoon said in a statement that “After years of fighting for this basic protection, today’s victory is especially sweet. Nearly 700,000 Marylanders who previously lacked access to a single paid sick day can now breathe a sigh of relief that they no longer have to ignore their own health in order to keep food on the table,” and pointed to several more jurisdictions expected to pass paid sick leave in the near future.
But the United States of America continues to lag the rest of the world, and will do so as long as Republicans control Congress or hold the White House.
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