If 2017 is the year mandated paid leave passes in Maryland, it will come with a lot of job losses.
According to a study conducted by the NFIB Research Foundation, House Bill 1 and Senate Bill 230 could cost Maryland 13,000 jobs—as well as upwards of $1.5 billion in economic output—by 2027. The report includes both the cost of complying with the mandate and the financial impact of paying workers for taking leave. To make matters worse, 57 percent of these job losses and 53 percent of lost sales would occur within small businesses.
Under HB 1 and SB 230, companies with 15 or more employees would be required to provide one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours of work. Businesses employing fewer than 15 people would have to provide the same amount of unpaid leave. Part-time workers would be able to accrue paid leave if they are working at least eight hours per week. If passed, the law would take effect on Jan. 1, 2018, and would preempt the authority of local jurisdictions to pass similar laws on or after Jan. 1, 2017. Real estate brokers and salespeople, agricultural and construction workers, and workers who have paid leave through collective bargaining agreements are exempt.
“The impact on our members and the state’s economy as a whole cannot be understated,” said Mike O’Halloran, NFIB/MD State Director. “Legislators, no matter how well intentioned, must focus on the economic reality, not rhetoric from supporters who have no way of knowing the consequences this mandate will have on employers. We should all be focused on improving our economy, not making it more difficult to operate a business in Maryland. House Bill 1 is a step in the wrong direction.”