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Maryland Mandates Paid Sick Leave

After a hard-fought battle, mandated paid sick leave will soon become law in Maryland. In 2017, Governor Lawrence J. Hogan vetoed a Senate bill requiring businesses with fifteen or more employees to provide paid sick leave to its employees. On Friday, January 12, 2018, the Senate voted 30-17 to override Governor Hogan’s veto. The bill will become law after 30 days.

In 2017, Governor Hogan indicated that the paid sick leave bill was too expansive and instead supported a “common-sense” paid sick leave policy that only applied to businesses with fifty or more employees. He initially tried to fight passage of the Senate bill by chipping away at its overwhelming Democratic support. Four Democrats and fourteen Republicans voted against the bill on March 16, 2017, but it was not enough to halt the bill’s passage. According to Amelia Jaffe, a spokeswoman for Governor Hogan, the Senate bill “directly threaten[ed] Maryland small businesses and jobs.” Hogan vetoed the bill in May 2017.

Democratic Senator Bobby Zirkin, one of the four Democratic Senators that opposed the bill in 2017, changed his position and supported the Senate’s vote to override Governor Hogan’s veto. Maryland is the ninth state to require businesses to provide paid sick leave.