Hrant believes that “Women’s issues” are actually “family issues” that need to be a priority for all Marylanders.
Parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child
Unfortunately, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) only applies to employers with 50 or more employees. Therefore, if a woman works for a small employer, she can now be fired for not showing up to work the day after giving birth to her child. As the Executive Director for a small non-profit organization, whose wife recently gave birth to their first child, Hrant was shocked by the millions of Americans who are excluded from this important workplace protection. As a result, Hrant made sure his organization added FMLA protections for his employees and wants all Maryland businesses to do the same.
Earned sick and safe leave
Currently, more than 700,000 Marylanders do not earn any sick leave. As a result, parents are often asked to choose between staying home sick (or staying home to take care of a sick child) and losing the income they would have earned that day to help support their families. We should not ask Marylanders to make these “no win” decisions, where the family suffers regardless of a parent’s choice. As a result, Hrant wants Maryland to enact legislation enabling all employees to earn sick leave as well as “safe” leave for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault.
Equal Pay for Equal Work
Women who work full-time are paid only 77 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. We must work to reduce this gap and ensure everyone is able to earn a living wage as well as receive equal pay and benefits for equal work. As Delegate, Hrant will fight to end wage discrimination, bar retaliation against workers for discussing salary information, and ensure full compensation for victims of gender-based pay discrimination. Hrant also believes that increasing the minimum wage for tipped workers is necessary for ensuring everyone has a fair shot at success, especially since two thirds of tipped workers are women.
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