Archive | December 2015

Join Us! MLAW’s Legislative Reception and Briefing is February 16th!

Please join us for MLAW’s Annual Legislative Reception and Briefing. This is your opportunity to meet us in Annapolis to learn about the legislation that will make up the 2016 Legislative Agenda and to meet with legislators to discuss issues important to women.

There is no charge to attend the event, but please register early as registration is limited.  Also, please only register if you are sure you can attend.  Last year’s event “sold out” and we had to cut off registration.   We’ll do our best not to turn anyone away!

**Click here to register**

The briefing and reception will be held on February 16, 2016 from 4:30 – 6:30 pm in the President’s Conference Center West in the Miller Senate Office Building located at 11 Bladen Street in Annapolis. Please be sure to bring a photo identification in order to enter the Senate building. There are several parking garages located near the Senate building, as well as metered parking throughout Annapolis. You also may park at Navy Stadium and take the shuttle to the Miller Senate Building.

For more information, email us at or call 443-519-1005.

Sign on to Support the 2016 Agenda!

The most powerful advocacy tool for the Agenda is your signature as a supporter.  Organizations and individuals are invited to sign on as a supporter of the 2016 Agenda2016 Agenda.  We also encourage you to invite your friends and colleagues to sign on.  A list of supporters will be attached to the document before it is distributed to legislators and the public, as well as included on our website. The document will be released at our Legislative Reception and Briefing on February 16, 2016 complete this simple online form  and will be distributed to all legislators.
Cooperative action is the basis upon which MLAW operates.  One voice is important but the collective voices of many impacts public policy and enables advocates and legislators to demonstrate concern and support for women’s issues.  Make your voice count for women and their families in the 2016 session of the Maryland General Assembly. 
To add your name to the list of supporters, complete this simple online form or simply email your name exactly as it should appear to  If you would like to add multiple names of friends or colleagues who give you permission to add their names, please email them as well.  Spread the word and ask others to support this agenda.
Thank you for your support.  We look forward to receiving your signature of support for the 2016 Agenda by 2/12/16.

MLAW Announces Initiatives for the 2016 Agenda

In November, leaders of state-wide organizations and advocates addressing issues of concern to women of Maryland participated in a conference to identify potential legislative initiatives for the 2016 Maryland General Assembly.   Those initiatives then constituted a ballot which members of MLAW considered.  Members were asked to identify what they believed were the top initiatives for the MLAW Legislative Agenda 2016.  
The MLAW Board of Directors reviewed the results of the balloting and identified issues that will comprise the MLAW Legislative Agenda 2016.  The issues selected are listed below and described in more detail below.

*Equal Pay for Equal Work
*Fair Scheduling Act of 2016
*Maryland Healthy Working Families Act
*Stalking, Harassment, Misuse of Electronic Communication or Interactive Computer Service
*Rape Survivor Family Protection Act
*Expansion of Maryland Vacating Convictions Law for Survivors of Human Trafficking
*Family and Medical Leave Act Insurance Program


Equal Pay for Equal Work: This bill would close various loopholes to address the fact that women in Maryland earn, on average just 85 cents for every dollar earned by men in comparable jobs, including the closing of the ‘Employer Defense’ loophole, and also prohibiting retaliation against sharing salary information.

Fair Scheduling Act of 2016: This bill will reform Maryland law to guarantee predictable schedules so workers can plan ahead to meet their responsibilities on and off the job; it also allows employees to be compensated for their time and flexibility. This critical legislation will incentivize employers to build stable, predictable, family-friendly schedules and prevents employers from destabilizing the lives of the lowest paid and most vulnerable workers and their families – more often than not, women.

Maryland Healthy Working Families Act: The proposed legislation, which was introduced for the first time in 2013, requires Maryland employers to allow workers to earn a certain number of annual paid sick and safe days. Employees would begin accruing hours from the start of employment but would not be allowed to use their paid sick time until the completion of a probationary period. The “safe time” component of the legislation requires employers to allow employees who have been victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault to use their accrued paid sick leave to care for their health after these incidents or to seek legal protections or new housing.

Stalking, Harassment, Misuse of Electronic Communication or Interactive Computer Service, Revenge Porn: Stalking can be a very scary form of intimate partner abuse. Prosecutors indicate the way stalking is defined makes it virtually impossible to obtain convictions.  Updating and revising the laws of stalking, harassment and misuse of electronic communication will assist in holding perpetrators of these acts accountable criminally and increase safety for victims of domestic violence.

Rape Survivor Family Protection Act: 5% of rape victims of reproductive age (age 12-45) became pregnant as a result of rape, with the majority of pregnancies in adolescents. This bill would create a legal process for rape victims to terminate the parental rights of rapists when a child is conceived as result of rape. Victims would be required to meet a clear and convincing standard of evidence. This is the same standard used for other termination of parental rights cases – no more, no less.

Expansion of Maryland Vacating Convictions Law for Survivors of Human Trafficking: This bill expands the relief available to survivors of human trafficking who have been arrested and convicted for crimes they were forced to commit by their traffickers.  In addition to expanding the types of crimes eligible for vacatur, the bill also explicitly extends the relief to survivors of labor trafficking, who were previously ineligible for this form of relief.  This change will allow all survivors of trafficking to more easily heal from the trauma of their victimization by reducing the stigma and collateral consequences associated with having a criminal record that stems from a history of trafficking.

Family and Medical Leave Act Insurance Program: The proposed legislation establishes a paid family and medical leave insurance program, which would operate, similar to unemployment insurance and social security. This program would create a state-run insurance fund that provides up to 12 weeks of partial wage replacement for those that are caring for a new child, have a serious health condition, or are caring for a family member with a serious health condition. Rhode Island, New Jersey, and California already.