US Department of Labor’s FAQs on COBRA Continuing Health Care Coverage

A recent discussion of county Human Resources officers highlighted new federal rules, arising from the American Rescue Plan Act, altering employer and employee responsibilities for continuing health care coverage post-employment. A F-A-Q document available from the US Department of Labor is a good guide to employer and employee need-to-know topics. From the US Department of Labor, here are selections from the Frequently Asked Questions about COBRA health insurance continuing coverage: General Information Q1: I have…

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MD Asian American Hate Crimes Workgroup Seeks Input

Governor Hogan announced the membership of an Asian American Hate Crimes Workgroup, whose new chair Robert Hur has announced it seeks input from the public to help guide its work. From the Governor's office: Governor Larry Hogan today announced the members of the new workgroup to address the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans, which will be led by former U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. First announced last month, the workgroup’s mission is to develop strategies,…

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Hogan Announces $6.5M for Workforce Training Initiative

Governor Larry Hogan last week announced that over $6.5 million in state funding has been awarded to 33 strategic industry partnerships through the Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) Maryland program. EARN Maryland is the state’s nationally-recognized workforce initiative that helps businesses cultivate the skilled workforce they need to compete while preparing Marylanders for meaningful careers. “As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical to keep investing in a well-trained, highly-skilled workforce in…

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State Employees To Receive $100 COVID Vax Incentive

The State of Maryland will offer its employees a $100 bonus if they demonstrate they have received the COVID vaccine. With much attention in the COVID vaccination effort turning from providing sufficient opportunity to persuading residents to accept the vaccine, the State of Maryland has announced its own incentive - a $100 bonus to state employees who get vaccinated. From the Washington Post coverage: To receive the payment, workers must provide proof of their vaccination…

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2021 End of Session Wrap-Up: Government Liability & Courts

This post summarizes the status of various government liability & courts legislation that MACo took a position on during the 2021 Regular session.  County governments enforce laws, employ county residents, and maintain facilities throughout Maryland. Therefore county governments may be subject to acting as defendants in court, litigating cases involving employment benefits, injuries sustained on county properties, and various other subjects. MACo advocates on behalf of county governments to clarify the unique role that they…

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2021 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 employee relations in the 2021 General Assembly.  MACo advocates for fair state laws governing employment practices, labor representation, and employer-employee relationships. MACo becomes particularly engaged when a proposal has a disproportionate or unique effect on public sector employees - frequently those affecting public safety employees or other public workers who engage in sensitive and essential functions. This year…

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Sweeping Police Reforms Passed, Await Governor’s Action

Following extended debate across both chambers, the General Assembly passed a suite of bills intended to add to police accountability and standards. The mostly party-line vote has stakeholders awaiting the Governor's action on the several proposals. Police reforms have gathered public attention for many months, and Maryland is among many states contemplating broad reforms to discipline and accountability for officers. Following a complex, and sometimes contentious, debate on multiple bills, the General Assembly finally passed…

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MACo: Workers’ Compensation Law Further Limits Local Funding

On March 9, MACo Policy Associate Drew Jabin testified before the Senate Finance Committee in opposition to SB 860 - Workers' Compensation - COVID-19 Occupational Disease Presumption - Public School Employees. This bill expands presumptions for workers' compensation claims to include the effects caused by COVID-19 for public school employees, the cost of which falls on county schools and governments. From the MACo Testimony: SB 860 would add COVID-19 as a compensable occupational disease for…

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Counties Raise Concerns About COVID-19 Claims Bill

On March 9, MACo Policy Associate Drew Jabin testified before the Senate Finance Committee in opposition to SB 756 - Workers' Compensation - Occupational Disease Presumptions - COVID-19. This bill expands the eligibility of presumptions for workers' compensation claims to include effects caused by COVID-19. From the MACo Testimony: SB 756 would add COVID-19 as a compensable occupational disease for workers’ compensation, creating a nearly irrebuttable presumption that any affected worker should be compensated by…

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Extra Sick Leave Hurts Government Response To COVID-19

On March 2, MACo Policy Associate Drew Jabin testified before the Economic Matters Committee in opposition to HB 1326 - Maryland Healthy Working Families Act - Revisions and Public Health Emergency Leave. This bill would place significant costs on local jurisdictions as a result of paying for additional leave required during a public health emergency. From the MACo Testimony: Under state law, counties would have no choice but to fund these mandated changes to the…

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