Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
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Reform Jewish Leader Applauds Maryland’s State Wide Living Wage Ordinance

Sperling: This vital legislation underscores Maryland’s already strong commitment to investing in working families and treating workers in a just and fair manner.

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WashingtonD.C. May 10, 2007 - In response to Maryland’s adoption of a state wide living wage ordinance, Rabbi Scott Sperling, Director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Council, issued the following statement:

Maryland’s General Assembly and Governor Martin O’Malley made history this week when Maryland’s state wide living wage ordinance was signed into law. This vital legislation underscores Maryland’s already strong commitment to investing in working families and treating workers in a just and fair manner.

As a Reform Jew, I heed the words of Leviticus 19:13, “You shall not defraud your neighbor, nor rob him; the wages of he who is hired shall not remain with you all night until the morning” and recognize that paying a just and timely wage is the ethical responsibility of every employer. It is for this reason that I commend Maryland’s ordinance that will translate to higher wages for all workers and particularly workers in the industries that enable Maryland’s economy to thrive including janitors, landscapers, food service workers, as well as security and parking attendants.

In 1994 Baltimore showed true leadership by becoming the first city to pass a living wage. Hundreds of localities have since followed suit, including Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, passing living wages that are higher than the state and federal minimum wages. I applaud Maryland for its ongoing commitment to rewarding hard work with fair pay and urge other states to do the same.

 

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