From the halls: Two wins and an internship effort

(February 20, 2018 — ANNAPOLIS, Md.) — As we shared late last week, the House Economic Matters Committee has killed SB 304, the bill that would have delayed the effective date for 2017’s HB 1, mandatory paid leave. There is no path forward on delaying or changing the law at this point. There are eight bills addressing mandatory paid leave, including the bill Gov. Hogan calls a compromise.  Their passage, however, is highly unlikely.

But that doesn’t mean there’s no path forward at all. As you comply, share with us the challenges it presents. That is information we will need in order to work for changes in the law later.

There is a possibility of a tax credit for small businesses with 50 employees or fewer who offer paid leave. We will stay on top of that.

Thank you for everything you did to stand for employers and employees against this onerous law. Your partnership is invaluable, and even though the bill is law, you made a difference.

 

Did we say it would be a busy session?

To date, nearly 3,000 bills have been introduced. This is on track to be a record-setting year for bill introductions. Here are the positions we took recently on your behalf.

SB 380 provides an income tax credit to employers who otherwise cannot hire an intern, increasing the number of internships available to develop the workforce. This one is easy. We support it.

HB 512 would require an employer to provide an applicant with the pay scale upon request. It would also prohibit an employer from relying on wage history information to screen or make salary offers to prospective employees. The bill further creates actual damages, liquidated damages and special damages for the violation of these mandates. We oppose it.

HB 540 would have required employers with 20 or more employees to provide certain employees with a pre-tax transportation benefit. We opposed it on the grounds that, although the bill may have been well-meaning, the administrative, compliance, and penalty costs were too great for small business owners. The House Economic Matters Committee delivered an unfavorable report. The bill is dead.

SB0465 would alter Maryland’s standard of contributory negligence by creating a separate standard for pedestrians and nonmotorized vehicles. Persons would be eligible for damages even if they bore some negligence for their injuries. We opposed it, and it received an unfavorable report from the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

Why your perspective matters

Our advisory groups, launched this month, meet quarterly to discuss best practices, strategies and needs within their industry/sector. Their focus is to address what the next 20 years look like for these industries and sectors, and how these communities can proactively shape those years.

If you have a particular interest or expertise in telecommunications, join us for that group’s first meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 10 – 11 a.m. at the Maryland Chamber Offices. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Kevin Rudolph.

Next up: the Human Resources Advisory Group on Wed., Feb. 28 (we pushed this meeting back due to inclement weather) – same time and place, open to anyone who wants to share insights, perspectives and ideas.

As always, if there is a bill that impacts you and your business, or an issue you want legislators to understand, reach out to us.

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