Larry Richardson, vice president of government affairs at the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, leads the group in discussion.
What are your greatest human resources concerns? The list is one that can keep business owners up at night.
The Maryland Chamber Foundation is addressing those concerns through quarterly meetings with the Human Resources Advisory Group. HR representatives from organizations of all sizes and sectors convened on June 28th to address their latest policy concerns in the state.
With the recent veto override of the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, which took effect in mid-February 2018, there was much to discuss concerning compliance with sick and safe leave. Businesses have seen a number of common issues with this new law with the increase in cost of business, and with challenges pertaining to record keeping to comply with the new policy amongst them. There are a number of organizations that have more generous leave policies than the law requires. However, even if they have leave that exceeds the mandates of the legislation, a company must change accrual rates to comply with the new law—which has been taking up a lot of time.
The Maryland Chamber is interested gathering information about businesses experiences thus far with the new law in order to accurately represent the concerns of members to the General Assembly.
Workplace flexibility, encompassing teleworking and flex time, is also a hot topic in the HR world right now. Representatives shared best practices they have learned throughout the implementation of different policies over time. It was evident that providing options for a nice work life balance is key to keeping employees happy and great for retention. Some organizations are adapting their policies to accommodate different generations of employees with varying preferences. Despite any dissimilarities in practices, training employees on telework and flex time policies is a common procedure to ensure compliance.
The opioid epidemic effect on business is a crucial issue to discuss at this time. Dr. Marianne Cloeren, of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, is interested in the concerns businesses have regarding drug testing, medical marijuana and criminal backgrounds related to drug offenses. Cloeren stresses the importance of trainings for overdose in the workplace and how to incorporate those with past drug related criminal offenses and recovering addicts into the workforce.
Moving forward, there are many important concerns for the 2019 Legislative Session:
Since 2018 is an election year, the dynamics within the General Assembly will be changing and there could be up to a 50 percent turnover. This will require more time to educate the new legislators on the issues the Chamber has been working on.