Family Values @ Work

MD Small Business Owner Joins President Obama for Lunch, Lauds Paid Sick Days Announcement

MD Small Business Owner Joins President Obama for Lunch, Lauds Paid Sick Days Announcement

January 16, 2015

Contact: Laura Brandon,, 202.641.8477

Baltimore, MD – After President Obama’s announcement of his support for paid sick days and paid family leave nationally and on the local level, Amanda Rothschild, owner of Charmington’s Café in North Baltimore, and a member of the Maryland paid sick days campaign Working Matters, joined President Obama for lunch to discuss the importance of these issues.

“It was an honor to have lunch with President Obama today and to discuss the importance of policies like paid sick days. We provide our employees with paid sick days not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s good for business. Our employees feel more invested in the café knowing that the owners are invested in them. I save money through employee retention and don’t have to worry about lost productivity when a worker is sick.

“I have been fighting alongside other business owners, advocates, workers and families to ensure that all workers have access to paid sick days, and I hope Maryland lawmakers and Gov.-elect Hogan will follow the lead of President Obama and others to pass paid sick days legislation,” Rothschild said.

The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, which will be before the state legislature in coming weeks, would allow Maryland workers at businesses with 10 or more employees to earn paid sick leave to recover from an illness or care for a family member.

Specifically, the bill, which received wide support from lawmakers in 2014, would:

  • Allow Maryland workers to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to seven full days (56 hours) of paid sick leave per year;
  • Afford employees “safe time” to take paid leave to obtain medical attention, victims services, counseling, relocation or legal services as a result of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking; and
  • Permit employers with existing paid leave standards to maintain those policies as long as they comply with the minimum regulations of the Act.

Also joining Rothschild and the President were Mary Stein, a school nurse and mother of two from Howard County, Md, and Morvika “Vika” Jordan, a Baltimore mother of two, who has worked without access to paid sick days.

Working Matters, which is part of Family Values @ Work, a network of coalitions in 21 states fighting for policies that help Americans be good providers and good caregivers, is pushing for a statewide paid sick days bill in Maryland. Family Values @ Work members in all 21 states in our network sent letters to the President asking him to take the very steps he is officially announcing on January 15 and in his State of the Union address. View the letters from Marylanders here and here.

After years of fighting for paid sick days and paid family leave nationally and in cities and states from Seattle to Orlando, from California to Massachusetts, 2014 marked a historic year of wins for the Family Values @ Work network, including a sweep of ballot measures in the midterms. Currently, three states and 15 cities have passed paid sick days laws, and three states have paid family and medical leave programs. Working Matters is working to build on this momentum with a paid sick days win in Maryland.