The Senate Finance Committee today voted Senate Bill 304 – Maryland Healthy Working Families Act – Enforcement – Delayed Implementation favorable with amendments. Senate Finance Chairman and chief sponsor of a new law requiring most employers to provide workers with sick leave, Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton last week introduced the bill to delay enforcement of the new law.
The original bill sought to delay implementation for 60 days after February 11, when the law is set to take effect. However, the Committee amended the bill to delay implementation until July of this year. It’s an emergency bill, which would require a three-fifths vote in both the Senate and the House of Delegates to pass.
Members of the Committee admitted the measure doesn’t appear to have much momentum in the House, but said they wanted to try to give Maryland employers more time to prepare for the law. MACo testified in support of the bill.
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 vetoes 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.