Governor Larry Hogan explains why he is vetoing the paid sick leave bill. (Michael Dresser, Baltimore Sun video)
For most U.S. workers, real wages have been flat for decades, and the minimum wage adjusted for inflation has declined sharply since the ‘60s. Often these workers are in jobs with few or no benefits, including 700,000 Marylanders who have the hard choice to go to work sick or stay home without pay.
To help them, the Maryland legislature passed the Working Families Act requiring workers get at least 5 earned sick days a year. This is good for employers resulting in happier and more productive employees and saving them money by reducing staff turnover. It's good for the public and consumers. Have you seen a server cough or sneeze into your food? Governor Hogan vetoed the legislation considering it to be onerous to businesses and proposed a compromise bill to improve what the Democrats did.
I believe Governor Hogan and Del. Kathy Szeliga are attempting to hoist the Democrats, who are trying to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good, on their own ideological petard. They are doing this by using "improvements" as a pretext for stalling the bill and getting support for the governor’s veto. It is thoughtful of Delegate Szeliga, who has been very vocal against paid sick leave and raising the minimum wage, to be concerned about the privacy of domestic abuse victims who so often have their suffering written on their faces in black and blue (“Md. sick leave forces women to choose between privacy and safety,” Dec. 21).