Democratic State Senators Speak Out Against Paid Sick Leave Bill
A handful of courageous Democratic State Senators came out with strong concerns about Senate Bill 230 dubbed the "Maryland Healthy Working Families Act." The bill would require businesses with 15 or more employees to provide employees with earned sick and safe leave that is paid at the same wage rate as the employee normally earns and require employers with 14 or fewer employees to provide an employee with unpaid earned sick and safe leave.
Senators Jim Brochin (District 42, Baltimore County) and Bobby Zirkin (District 11, Baltimore County) recognized that businesses in their district mentioned that they could be forced to lay off employees if this bill passes.
Senator Zirkin offered an amendment that would provide an exemption to small businesses that would be deeply impacted by the bill, but met stiff resistance from his fellow Democratic State Senators.
Senator Brochin: "This is the problem ladies and gentleman. We can do our best to assauge our constituents, but there are so many inherit flaws in this piece of legislation. Miller's Deli said if this bill goes through, I'm going to have to lay off 3 employees."
Senator Nathan-Pulliam (District 44, Baltimore City & County): "Clearly if businesses that hire less than 15 employees close, we will have a lot of people unemployed in our communities. It's vitally important for us to think about all the discussion because if we have a waiver it would give businesses the option of filing for it or closing their business."
Senator Zirkin: "We are writing the law, not a philosophy. If there was an opportunity for businesses to come down here and make their case, I'd be open to voting for the bill." Senator Zirkin continued, showing concerns that he would not vote for the bill if the amendment is not passed.
This bill will be coming up for a vote tomorrow. We encourage you to contact your Senator to let them know you're opposed to the bill here: http://bit.ly/Tell-Your-Senator