Ocean City Today

Ocean City Chamber holds paid sick leave bill meeting

By Greg Ellison | Nov 09, 2017

(Nov. 10, 2017) The Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring an informational session regarding Maryland’s Mandatory Paid Sick Leave bill on Nov. 14 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at the Dunes Manor Hotel on 28th Street.

In early April, HB01, Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, was approved by the state legislature and subsequently vetoed by Gov. Larry Hogan the following month. Despite Hogan’s opposition, political pundits predict the veto will be overridden during the next legislative session in January.

The bill would require businesses with 15 or more employees who clock in for a minimum of 12 hours per week to provide one hour of sick paid leave for every 30 hours worked. Businesses with 14 or fewer employees would be required to provide unpaid sick leave at the same rate.

The breakfast meeting includes an expert panel that will review the bill’s requirements, the potential impact on businesses, proposed changes advantageous to employers and the prospect of a veto override.

The initial version of HB01 would have allowed employees to use accrued sick leave after 90 days on the job. This concerned seasonal operators who worried their staff could take the earned leave near the end of the season, leaving the business short-handed.

While opponents had lobbied to revise the bill so employees would be limited from using sick leave until reaching 120 days on the job, Sen. Jim Mathias (D-38) was able to reach a compromise of 106 days.

The Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce represents approximately 900 businesses, which it estimates employs roughly 12,000 seasonal workers.

According to a senate fiscal note on the bill, while approximately 20,000 businesses that have 15 or more employees would be required to provide paid sick leave, fewer than 20 percent of state businesses have 15 or more employees, but they employee 86 percent of workers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in Maryland during 2016 that 61 percent of workers in private industry had paid sick leave, as did 92 percent of state and local government employees.

Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Melanie Pursel said the session, which is free to attend, is intended for business owners and employers.

For more information, visit savemdjobs.com.




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