Ocean City Today

Paid sick leave law now in effect

Efforts to delay new rule cleared Senate, but failed to make it to House vote
By Greg Ellison | Feb 15, 2018

(Feb. 16, 2018) Maryland employers must offer paid sick leave as of Feb. 11, when legislation vetoed last year by Gov. Larry Hogan, but overridden in the General Assembly this year, went into effect as efforts to amend the law looked doubtful.

Delegate Mary Beth Carozza (R-38C) said although efforts to push back the bills effective date until July failed, the legislature will continue working towards providing clarity for employers and employees.

“The House leadership failed to take action prior to Feb 11,” she said. “The bill is so flawed … basic questions cannot be answered.”

On Jan. 11, the House voted 88-52 to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto from last May of the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, with the Senate following suit the next day by a 30-17 vote.

In late January, State Sen. Thomas Middleton (D-28) introduced SB 304 in an attempt to delay the measure’s implementation and give small business operators sufficient time to become familiar with the law’s requirements.

Last Thursday, Middleton’s bill passed the Senate by a 29-17 vote, including support from Sen. Jim Mathias (D-38), and the next day headed to the House.

However, the House didn’t schedule a hearing on the amendment until this Tuesday, two days after the bill went into effect.

Carozza said Maryland Labor Secretary Kelly Schulz testified before the House on Tuesday.

“Secretary Schulz and the business coalition gave strong, forceful testimony in support of delaying the effective date and enforcement of the new paid leave law,” she said.

According to Carozza, both employers and employees have bombarded Schulz with emails.

“As of this morning she has received well over 800 very specific questions,” Carozza said.

From talking to House leadership, Carozza said the sentiment is against making changes to the paid sick leave law during the current session, but the topic would likely be revisited in the future.

“This affects our job creators, and therefore employees and their jobs,” she said. “Down the road we need to break the bill down and fix the most egregious parts.”

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