Posted 16 November 2017
Kathleen Matthews, the Maryland Democratic Party Chair, filed a Public Information Act (PIA) request on Thursday, November 16 regarding the Governor’s paid sick leave task force. Since the Governor has refused to comply with the open meeting complaint filed against the task force last month, there has been growing concern over the transparency of the paid sick leave task force.
When Governor Hogan vetoed Paid Sick Leave, he also signed an executive order which instituted a task force, headed by Maryland Labor Secretary Kelly Schultz and several members of his administration. The Governor announced the task force was designed to examine all aspects of sick leave in Maryland. Since its formation, there have been no public meetings and no opportunities for public engagement at any level.
After the conclusion of the 2017 General Assembly, Governor Hogan vetoed HB1 / SB 230 – the Sick Leave Bill. This bill would require businesses employing more than 15 workers to provide paid sick leave for hours worked. Under the law, workers would accrue one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 56 hours per year. It passed both the Maryland Senate and House with a veto-proof majority, but since the veto came after the close of Session, working families in Maryland had to wait until the 2018 General Assembly to see Congress override the veto.
Working Matters, a coalition of more than 150 organizations advocating for paid sick days, has several avenues to reach out to legislators and the Governor on this issue. Currently, 40 percent of Maryland private sector employees do not accrue sick leave, and about 700,000 Maryland employees would be able to accrue sick leave under this bill.