Vernita Mouzon will be among the first Johns Hopkins employees to enjoy a new benefit: paid family leave. (Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun video)
I agree with the recent commentary in support of state legislation to create a paid leave program which would benefit my employees and workers across the state (“Md. paid family leave bill provides economic security for caregivers,” March 6). Providing paid leave for workers to care for family members, including newborns or the elderly, is unquestionably the moral thing to do. Furthermore, as a small business owner, I know that businesses across the state can easily afford this and will benefit from it greatly.
My living-wage cleaning company, Well-Paid Maids, provides a full benefits package to all employees. This package includes 22 paid days off per year, comprehensive health, dental, and vision insurance, and much more. Compared to what we already provide, the small payroll tax required for a statewide paid leave program would be a negligible cost that our business could easily bear. If we can afford it, given our already high level of wage and benefits spending, I’m sure other businesses can too.
But this isn’t just a cost to bear. I believe businesses will reap tremendous gains from a paid leave program. I have found that by offering benefits that acknowledge the reality of everyday life (people get sick, get injured, and need vacations) my employees feel that we have their backs. In turn, they’re happier, they work harder, and they stay with the company longer — all great things that any business owner should welcome.
The proposed paid leave program is a rare opportunity. By giving employees the ability to take time off to deal with family care issues without falling into financial distress, it will prevent much undue suffering at a minor cost while making Maryland businesses more productive.