Legislative Update

Welcome to the HoCoHRS Legislative Affairs webpage! Here you will find information about the HR policy issues HoCoHRS is monitoring.
We understand how vital you are to the development and implementation of sound HR practices and procedures. For that reason, HoCoHRS is dedicated to bringing you timely updates on key legislative proposals both on the state and federal level – legislation that can (and so often does) have a profound impact on the HR profession and how we do our jobs.  We hope you find this information useful and encourage you to check back next month for another update.
Thank you for visiting HoCoHRS’s Legislative Affairs webpage. For additional resources on HR policy and advocacy, and to view the public policy issues SHRM’s government affairs team will be tracking in 2018, we encourage you to visit SHRM’s Advocacy Webpage at http://www.shrm.org/Advocacy/Issues/Pages/default.aspx.  I also recommend you download SHRM's legislative advocacy mobile app (SHRM Advocacy," free in app stores) to keep up with the latest in HR and workplace policy.  Like to Tweet?  Follow @SHRMATeam, and follow #SHRMLeg.

Dawn Rhodes
HoCo HRS Legislative Chair


It's Effective - MarylHB1/SB230 – Maryland Healthy Families Act:   

Seven days mandatory paid sick leave for employers with 15 or more employees and Healthy Working Families Act!

Effective  February 11th, 2018, the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act went into effect.  This Act provides paid sick and safe leave to all full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees, over the age of 18, who regularly work 12 hours or more per week.  These individuals will be eligible to accrue 1 hour of sick and safe leave for each 30 hours worked, up to 40  hours per calendar year.  Accruals for new employees will begin on their first day of employment.  Said employees may request and be eligible to use sick and safe leave after the completion of 106 days of employment. 

It is time to make sure that your sick leave or Paid Time Off (PTO) policies are in compliance with the new law.  Employers should ensure compliance or they may face significant penalties and fines. 

The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation has made a draft sample employee notice poster (English/Spanish) for your place of business available.  As there have been no regulations issued, DLLR continues to answer questions regarding the new bill.  Please email:  small.busines@maryland.gov.  We have attached the sample notice from DLLR to be posted to your workspaces. 


On the Radar

 HB382/SB305 – Commonsense Paid Leave Act: Five paid leave days, used for anything (PTO), mandatory for employers with 50 or more employees; tax incentives for those employers who are less than 50 employees. Hearing 2/9 and 2/10

 HB 214 – Pregnancy Discrimination: Requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees and applicants of employment who have conditions related to pregnancy; requires certain factors to be considered when determining whether an undue hardship exists, and alter the circumstances under which an employer is required to transfer employees to less strenuous positions.  House hearing 2/14 @ 1:00.

 HB 317 – Preemption of Local Authority: Prohibiting a county or municipality from enacting its own wage and benefit laws and allowing the State to issue those laws.  This would ensure a more consistent State wide minimum wage and if necessary paid leave. House hearing is 2/7 at 1:00.

 HB 398 – Equal Pay – Job Announcement and Salary History Disclosure:  Requires employers to post the minimum wage and salary information and prohibits certain employers from paying less that what is disclosed; and prohibiting certain employers from asking salary history until after a job offer and the employee consents.  House hearing 2/14 @1:00; Senate Heating 2/16 at 1:00

 HB 506 – Noncompete and Conflict of Interest: Noncompete and conflict of interest provisions in agreement with employees who earn equal to or less than $31,200 or $15/hour will be null and void as against public policy of the State.   Hearing 2/14 @ 1:00.       

HB 465 – Apprenticeships: Requiring a contractor or subcontractor that performs work on specified construction projects to use workers that have completed or are enrolled in a specified apprenticeship program or to pay specified workers not less than a journeyworker's rate.  Hearing 2/21 at 1:00.                      

HB 665 – Exemptions From Overtime Pay - Administrative, Executive, or Professional Capacity: Increasing the salary threshold to $913/week; requiring an increase every three years.  Hearing 2/21 at 1:00.

Fair Scheduling Act

  • The Act proposed last session would require an employer to provide each employee with an initial work schedule at least 21 days before the first day the employee was scheduled to work, notify an employee of any subsequent changes to the initial work schedule, and within 24 hours after making a change to an employee’s work schedule, provide the employee with a revised work schedule.  An employer that changed an employee’s work schedule under specified circumstances would have been required to pay the employee one hour of predictability pay.  A similar bill will be proposed this session.                

Worker Classification:

  • Through serving as a matchmaker to put workers who are willing to provide services in touch with customers who are looking to receive services, ride sharing companies like Uber have established business models that are predicated on flexibility and independent contractors. Workers’ rights advocates contend that the shift toward flexibility has led to the erosion of the traditional employment relationship, which carries with it important benefits for workers. As a result, litigation and administrative proceedings for worker benefits been filed in several states to classify workers, such as Uber drivers, as employees. Regulatory agencies in some states have recently classified workers as employees for purposes of unemployment benefits.  Similar bills may be proposed this session to examine this employee classification model.


Revised I-9

  • By Jan. 22, 2017, all employers must use the revised form. Employers should continue to follow existing storage and retentions rules for all of their previously completed Forms I-9. Read the USCIS News Release, and visit I-9 Central for more information. https://www.uscis.gov/i-9

Fair Labor Standards Act Overtime Update

  • The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced December 1 that it will appeal a court’s injunction temporarily halting the new overtime regulations.  On November 22, 2016, a federal district court judge issued an injunction that temporarily blocks the new federal overtime rule from taking effect on December 1st, 2016. This temporary injunction also allows the court more time to decide whether the new rule is an overreach of federal Department of Labor authority. https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-news/pages/dol-files-appeal-in-overtime-rule-injunction.aspx