(March 15, 2017—Annapolis, Md.)— Imposing a mandate does not make the mandate affordable, and when mandates are unaffordable, people lose jobs. The Maryland Chamber of Commerce has consistently argued against mandatory paid leave, and therefore stands in support of Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement that he will veto HB 1/SB 230 when it reaches his desk.
This legislation is not about providing sick time. There is no requirement that the employee offer evidence of illness. This bill provides paid time off that an employee working an average of only eight hours per week can use in whatever way he or she chooses. For seasonal employers especially, this bill means employees can take time off and leave their employers stranded without staff—often at a busy time in the season.
In the end, passage of this bill would mean fewer jobs for Marylanders, because employers simply cannot afford the cost of paying the wages on top of tracking compliance, or paying for unreasonable punitive damages. Despite the Maryland Chamber’s continual advocacy for reasonable amendments, legislators have refused to understand this.
Mandates on top of mandates make it harder for people to do business in Maryland. That means they are more likely to take their business—and whatever jobs, tax revenues and other economic supports those businesses create—to nearby states that make it easier to succeed.
This assault on Maryland business doesn’t make economic sense for the state.