A Prince George’s County Council committee chose not to move along proposed legislation that sought to provide employees paid sick leave.
The Planning, Zoning, Economic and Development committee tabled the sick leave bill Tuesday, but could be reexamined at a later date.
However, it did pass a resolution to endorse a statewide measure on the topic in a move to wait on state lawmakers to enact a bill. The legislative session in Annapolis resumes in January.
“I honestly thought this was a slam dunk,” said former state Delegate Jolene Ivey, who attended the meeting Tuesday and spoke in support of the proposal. “Having paid sick leave makes people healthier and happier and it’s good for the economy. I haven’t found a citizen in Prince George’s County who wouldn’t want paid sick leave.”
According to the eight-page Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act, each employee would accrue one hour for every 30 hours worked and capped at a minimum of seven days per year.
An employee may take the day off for several reasons, including caring for a family member, taking medication to recover from an injury, or legal proceedings due to a domestic violence situation.
Council Vice Chairman Derrick Davis (D-District 6) of Upper Marlboro, who voted to table the legislation and not send it along to the full council, said the statewide endorsement of the sick leave act shows supports for it.
“We are all for sick and safe leave. There’s no opposition here. It is just about the process,” he said Friday. “It is time for us to be prudent and enact the type of legislation on the state and county level to not put us at a competitive disadvantage in this region.”
Council and committee members Andrea C. Harrison (D-District 5) of Springdale, who chairs the committee, and Dannielle Glaros (D-District 3) of Riverdale Park also voted to table the bill.
Councilwoman Karen Toles (D-District 5) of Suitland, who serves on the committee and supported the legislation, said it’s about health, safety and economic security for residents.
“It’s not just a matter of just taking off. Some persons have been hurt by not taking off,” she said. “If the state was to pass something, it would be at the earliest by June or July. People who are encountering domestic violence and those with a sick child cannot afford to wait.”
Councilwoman and committee member Deni Taveras (D-District 2) of Adelphi also supported the legislation and a co-sponsor of the bill with Toles.