Mandated Paid Leave Bill Passed by the House, Stalled In the Senate

Date: April 06, 2016 Last Edit: April 20, 2016

fight against mandated paid leave came down to the wire on Monday April 11, the final
day of the Maryland General Assembly session. Senate President Thomas V. Mike
Miller stated that the bill wouldn’t progress in the Senate after the
House passed a version of the bill, but in a turn of events that are not
unusual on Sine Die, the bill got a second wind.

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.

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