- Maryland's hard-fought sick leave policy is now law, according to various media reports. Employers with at least 15 workers must provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work. Employers with fewer than 15 workers must grant unpaid, job-protected leave. Part-time workers also are eligible for leave.
- The law is years in the making, and its future was uncertain until recently, according to CBS Baltimore. The legislature passed the measure last year, but it was immediately vetoed by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who called it "an ill-conceived, poorly written, complicated and confusing, and inflexible mess.” The law got past the governor's veto last month.
- Around 64% of Maryland employees already have access to paid sick leave, the Washington Post reports. But the state's law gives 700,000 more workers access to protected leave, allowing them to take time off because they're sick, need to care for a family member, have a court date or some other vital business.
Without a national paid leave policy in the U.S., states continue to fill in the gap. Maryland has joined states like California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts in passing its own paid leave policy — a movement that will likely continue nationwide. Republican lawmakers have pushed back on paid leave, arguing that such policies are burdensome for employers.
But many employers are adopting their own policies anyway, asserting recruiting and retention benefits that help them compete in a tight labor market — and in an economy that leaves them wary to boost pay. Major retailers are offering leave to their hourly employees. Even Lowe's, the last hold-out among 20 of the biggest employers of the U.S., recently announced that it's offering paid parental leave to its workers.