Why Hogan Vetoed a Paid Sick Leave Bill in Maryland

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Posted: Dec 18, 2017 5:30 PM
Why Hogan Vetoed a Paid Sick Leave Bill in Maryland

Gov. Larry Hogan has a few reasons for vetoing the paid sick leave bill in Maryland. For one, it would hurt small businesses.

The vetoed bill would require employers with 15 or more workers to let those who put in at least 12 hours a week earn up to five days a year of paid leave to use when they are sick or experiencing family crises, including domestic violence. Democrats estimate the legislation would give 700,000 workers access to such leave that do not have it now, but a task force appointed by Hogan put the number at fewer than half that. (Baltimore Sun)

However, there is another method to Hogan's madness. The Democratic legislation appears to mandate that in order to take the leave, employees have to tell their employer why. Hogan says this could create a situation where victims of sexual assault would be placed in an impossible situation. He shared his concerns in a new op-ed for The Washington Post.

Perhaps most egregiously, an employee could be obligated to reveal deeply personal and private information — including about domestic violence, sexual assault or sensitive medical procedures — to use their leave. This issue was raised by a dozen members of the legislative women’s caucus in a letter to the House speaker and Senate president.

Instead, Hogan plans to introduce the Paid Leave Compromise Act of 2018 as emergency legislation on the first day of the upcoming legislative session. That legislation would "provide Marylanders with paid time off — no questions asked — and would eliminate the costly and punitive red tape in the legislature’s flawed bill," Hogan offered.

One group, the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, is supporting the original Democratic proposal. 

The bill will "give survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence rights they don't have now,” according to the group's executive director, Lisae C. Jordan.

The legislation is very relevant, concerning all of the allegations on Capitol Hill. Multiple accused lawmakers, including Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), have retired or are in the process of resigning from Congress due to allegations of sexual misconduct.

The Maryland legislature is still negotiating the bill and is attempting to override Hogan’s veto.