2018 End of Session Wrap-Up: Employee Benefits and Relations

The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of employee benefits and relations in the 2018 General Assembly. 

Follow links for more coverage on Conduit Street and MACo’s Legislative Database

Wage Reporting and History

MACo supported a bill with amendments that would mandate employers to exclude a variety of wage and salary history when offering jobs or promotions. Senate Bill 377 and House Bill 512 would have prohibited employers from relying on past wage history information to determine an applicant’s salary or a current employee’s salary.

Counties already have established pay scale systems that are often used to promote employees over time, and offered an amendment to be removed from the legislation. The bill sponsor did not accept MACo’s amendment. HB 512 passed the House but died in the Senate. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Transportation Benefit Mandate

Push Icons-DEFEATEDMACo opposed a bill that would require county governments to provide employees a structured opportunity to use pre-tax income to pay for certain workplace transportation costs. Counties introduced concerns with the carryover county fiscal effect of this bill and mandated reductions in local revenue sources.

The bill would have decreased local income tax revenues by more than $2 million per year. This was exacerbated by the fact that counties do not know yet just how federal tax reform, and the state reaction to it, will affect their revenues. The bill was given an unfavorable report and did not make it out of committee. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Paid Sick Leave Delay

Push Icons-NOT IDEALMACo supported a bill that would have extended the implementation of the Health Working Families Acts by 60 days. However, after passing the Senate, it received an unfavorable report in the House Economic Matters Committee and did not pass. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Drug Testing and the Workplace

Push Icons-DEFEATEDMACo opposed a bill that would have removed an employer’s ability to require an employee to return a negative drug test prior to employment or allow the employer to take disciplinary action against an employee who tested positive for cannabis and has a medical prescription for the drug. There was an exception for actions against an employee who possessed or was impaired by cannabis at the workplace. Counties fought this mandate because there are a number of county positions where the regulation of cannabis usage is critical, and it is additionally difficult to differentiate between an individual who tests positive and is currently impaired. The bill was withdraw by the sponsor after an unfavorable report was given by the House Health and Government Operations Committee. Bill Information

For more on employee benefit legislation tracked by MACo during the 2018 legislative session, click here.