Workers, Business Owners Debate Sick-Leave Mandate

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Del. John A. Olszewski Jr. says many of the workers who need sick leave the most, such as low-wage employees who can’t afford to miss a day’s pay, are the ones who can’t earn it in their jobs.

More than 700,000 Maryland workers don’t have access to sick leave, Olszewski said Tuesday to the House Economic Matters Committee.

Olszewski has introduced a bill requiring employees to give one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, capping the number at seven a year. In general, businesses that give other forms of paid time off would be exempt.

Committee members heard horror stories Tuesday from restaurant cooks who have worked through severe illnesses.

Business owners and pro-business groups testified that the bill would hurt small employers and Maryland’s economic climate.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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