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Maryland General Assembly Session Begins Wednesday

Mon, Jan 8, 2018

The Maryland General Assembly begins Wednesday with the battle over paid sick leave legislation.  The House of Delegates is expected to overturn the governor’s veto of the Healthy Working Families Act. However, the bill passed the Senate with exactly the number of votes needed for an override, meaning that the defection of even a single lawmaker could leave Democrats unable to enact the legislation which requires employers with 15 or more full-time employees to provide workers with at least five days of sick and safe leave per year.

Meantime, Governor Larry Hogan is proposing “The Paid Leave Compromise Act of 2018” as alternative legislation. The bill, phased in over three years, would apply to employers with 50 or more employees in 2018, employers with 40 or more employees in 2019, and employers with 25 or more employees in 2020.

Under the proposal, businesses would be required to provide employees with at least 40 hours of paid sick leave per year. The Governor’s bill includes a provision to allow businesses that can demonstrate a significant financial hardship to apply for a hardship waiver, exempting them from the paid sick leave requirement.

Hogan also announced a companion bill, which would provide $100M in tax incentives to small businesses to offset the costs of providing employees with paid sick leave.