This legislative session in Maryland has seen a significant number of bills with the potential to have a profound impact on business HR practices, especially in the restaurant and retail industries. Industry leaders, including the Restaurant Association of Maryland, proved to be strong voices for business owners, however, and their lobbying efforts have resulted in the defeat of three bills of critical concern:
DEFEATED: Minimum Wage Increase
This defeated bill proposed increasing Maryland’s minimum wage annually beginning in July 2016, resulting in a $15.00 per hour wage by July 1, 2020. In addition, Maryland’s tip credit would have been repealed and future minimum wage increases would have been indexed to inflation.
DEFEATED: Paid Sick Leave Requirement
This bill would have required employers to allow full-time and part-time employees (working at least 8 hours per week) to accrue sick and safe leave at a rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked.
DEFEATED: Predictable Scheduling Penalty
This potentially expensive bill would have required employers to schedules all employees 21 days in advance or pay a penalty for any changes made after that date, unless all affected employees agreed to the schedule change in writing. Additional hours would also have had to be offered to current employees before hiring new staff, which had the potential to create costly HR compliance issues.
As more information comes out of the legislature, we will be sure to keep you updated. The defeat of these bills, however, is good news for a critical sector of Maryland business this year.