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 2017, we encourage you to visit SHRM’s Advocacy Webpage at http://www.shrm.org/Advocacy/Issues/Pages/default.aspx.

Cheryl U. Brown, Esq.
HoCo HRS Legislative Chair

cbrown@darslaw.com

FEBRUARY 2017 UPDATES

Here is an update of the proposed legislation for the 2017 General Assembly.  SHRM is actively involved in advocating against any mandatory paid leave for employers.  SHRM does have a survey that they are encouraging businesses to take a few minutes to answer regarding paid leave.  IF you have any questions, please contact our Chair of Legislative Affairs at legaffairs@hoco-hrs.org.

PAID LEAVE SURVEY:  http://md.shrm.org/news/2017/01/vote-now-paid-sick-leave-survey

HB1/SB230 – Maryland Healthy Families Act:   Seven days mandatory paid sick leave for employers with 15 or more employees.  Hearing 2/9 and 2/10

 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.

MARYLAND LEGISLATURE SESSION PREVIEW - Session Begins January 11, 2017

Paid Sick Leave:

  •  Proponents’ version will cover employers with at least 15 employees; not pre-empt Montgomery County’s law; and include most if not all of the at least  13 provisions of last year’s bill, including coverage for employees working as few as 8 hours/week.

  • The Governor’s bill, which is not yet released, will preempt Montgomery County bill, will cover employers with 50 or more employees, offer a tax incentive for smaller employers that offer comparable leave, will require five, not seven days of paid leave and will cover part time employees working 30 or more hours after they work for the employer for 120 days, not 8 hours/week from Day One. Leave will have to roll over (at least 40 hours) but accrual can be capped at that point, does not have to be paid out at termination nor reinstated if the employee is rehired.   

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.

NATIONAL UPDATE

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