Senate Finance Chairman and chief sponsor of a new law requiring most employers to provide workers with sick leave, Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton on Tuesday introduced a bill to delay enforcement of the new law. The bill would delay implementation for 60 days after February 11, when the law is set to take effect.
It’s an emergency bill, which would require a three-fifths majority in both the Senate and the House of Delegates to pass.
Under the proposal, the state will not assess penalties against employers for failure to comply with the new law until April. However, while Senator Middleton believes the extension is necessary to give both the state and employers more time to prepare, eligible employees will still begin accruing earned leave on February 11.
Earlier this month, the General Assembly overrode Governor Hogan’s veto of the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, a bill that requires employers with 15 or more full-time employees to provide workers with at least five days of sick and safe leave per year. Under state law, gubernatorial vetos overridden by the General Assembly become law in 30 days.
HB 1 would also require county governments to provide sick leave to all employees. While county governments generally provide generous benefits, at a much higher rate than the legislation would require, MACo opposed the legislation, raising concerns about the bill’s potential effects on provision of emergency and essential services and with the bill’s broad requirements for providing leave to part-time, seasonal, and contractual employees in the same manner as full-time employees.
Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more coverage, or contact Kevin Kinnally at MACo with any additional questions.