After more than five years of debate in the General Assembly, a bill requiring Maryland businesses to offer paid leave to their employees is one vote away from becoming law after the House of Delegates voted Thursday to override the governor’s veto on the bill.
The bill applies to businesses with at least 15 employees.
On the floor during Thursday’s debate, several Republican women said the bill forces domestic violence victims to reveal private information when they take a day off.
But several Democrats said that’s an inaccurate interpretation of the legislation.
Del. Cheryl Glenn, a Baltimore Democrat, said she was a victim of domestic abuse, and she supports the bill.
“As a survivor, as a victim of domestic violence, … I will tell you that’s a very, very tough scenario to be in,” she said. “Because you have to choose between, do you take off of work and lose pay? Do you risk going to work, knowing that your abuser will follow you there and abuse you on the grounds of your job?”
She said she experienced that very scenario.
For the second year, Gov. Larry Hogan has proposed a competing paid leave bill that he says would be friendlier to small businesses.
Following the vote, he released a statement calling the House’s vote a “political exercise” and the bill “deeply flawed.”
The Senate is expected to vote Friday on whether to override the veto. If the veto gets overturned, the bill will become law in 30 days.