VOLUME 6 | DECEMBER 2017
Paid Sick Leave Legislation Appears Inevitable for Maryland Businesses
Last legislative session the Maryland General Assembly passed the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (HB1/SB230) (“the Act”), which required employers with 15 or more employees to provide paid sick and safe leave. Although Governor Hogan later vetoed the Act, the Act had passed with enough votes to override the Governor’s veto, leading many to speculate that the legislature would override the Governor’s veto at the beginning of the new legislative session in January 2018. But the Act passed the Senate with exactly the number of votes needed for an override, meaning that a defection of even one senator could result in the inability to override the Governor’s veto.
In recent days, at least one Democratic delegate who originally voted for the Act has publicly expressed concerns about the Act’s impact on small businesses. Although this delegate’s potential defection would not affect the ability of both the Senate and the House of Delegates to override the veto, the delegate’s break from party ranks has caused speculation as to whether the political will to override the veto is eroding. To further complicate things, Governor Hogan recently issued an emergency compromise bill which will be filed on the first day of the upcoming legislative session.
Since legislation of some sort is likely to become law, employers should be preparing now.
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