What the End of Session Means for Your Small Business

Date: April 19, 2016 Last Edit: April 20, 2016

Here’s a look at two major NFIB-opposed measures.

What the End of Session Means for Your Small Business

NFIB has fought hard over the past few months to stand up for
small businesses against a series of bills introducing mandates that would make
your lives harder. You, our members, have also done an excellent job voicing
your concerns. Together we have made an impact. 

Two of the most important issues this session were mandated paid
sick leave and equal pay.

Mandated Paid Sick Leave

On Tuesday, April 5, less than a week before the General Assembly
adjourned, the Maryland House of Delegates approved the mandated paid sick
leave bill 84-54. The measure would require employers with at least 15
employees to provide paid sick leave for their workers. Employers with less
than 15 employees would have to provide unpaid sick leave. In either case,
businesses would have to provide leave to all employees who work an average of
8 hours per week. Agricultural workers, employees younger than 18 and seasonal
staff who work fewer than 90 days a year would be exempt from the bill.
However, businesses, regardless of their size would still be left with a
significant financial and administrative burden during an already fragile
economic climate.

The bill then headed to the Senate, where it faced a tougher road
to passage. Senate leaders had declared the bill dead with less than a week
left in the legislative session but on the final day it made a roaring comeback
after intense pressure from proponents, national outfits and even the White
House to pass mandated leave. NFIB urged Senate Finance committee members not
to pass the bill out of committee. There were simply too many issues with the
legislation and too little time to address them. As the bill became entangled
in a standoff between House and Senate negotiators on a tax relief package, it
became clear the concerns of the business community were taken to heart and the
clock ran out on the legislative session with the bill dying upon adjournment.


An amended version of an “equal pay” bill passed the legislature
this year after previous attempts failed. This year’s measure addressed some of
the concerns of the business community but ultimately does little to address
any wage gap and only complicates how employers hire and pay their workers, as
well as leave them more susceptible to costly and potentially crippling

One particular issue that held up the bill in the Senate was the
‘lawsuit window.’ An early provision of the bill allowed an employee to file
suit within three years of discovering unfair payment, even if they had left
the company many years earlier. The provision was amended to provide a
three-year statute of limitation upon receipt of the employee’s final paycheck.
Both the Senate and House adopted the change and the bill passed with
bipartisan support.

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