From Annapolis: A Legislative Update For Maryland Employers

Related Attorney(s): Donald N. SperlingKaren N. ShapiroDarla J. McClureAndrew L. Schwartz

Media Type: Alert

As the Maryland legislative session comes to end, here is a brief update of some of the bills that have been introduced that affect employers:

  1. The bill requiring an increase in the minimum wage to $8.25 in 2013, $9.00 in 2014 and $10.00 in 2015 has been rejected by the Senate Finance Committee by a vote of 8 to 3.
  2. The bill providing employees with paid sick and safe leave, that would accrue 1 hour for every 30 hours worked, has officially been voted out of the Economic Matters Committee as unfavorable.
  3. The bill requiring employers to compensate employees for time spent on a jury was voted down by the House Judiciary Committee.

Just recently a new bill involving pregnant employees was introduced and has already been passed by both the House and the Senate. This new bill would require employers to adjust the duties of pregnant employees who are not able to perform their normal duties because of their pregnancy. It would allow pregnant women to do less strenuous jobs because their current work might harm them or their unborn child.

We are also paying close attention to Senate Bill 51, which provides that if an employee is unemployed and has applied and is eligible for unemployment insurance benefits, the employee may not be bound by a noncompetition covenant entered into with the employer. This bill if enacted could have a huge effect on employers who must make the decision of laying off an employee and risk the employee’s competition or retaining an employee in order to keep the noncompetition covenant enforceable.

On a related front, we are also watching a few bills making their way through Congress. One is a proposed amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act that would allow employers to offer “comp” time to employees who work overtime.

Stay tuned as the Maryland legislative session draws to a close and we find out what bills have become law. In the meantime, if you have questions about these or other employment law issues, please call 301-340-2020.

This is a reprint of Darla McClure's article from Montgomery County Society for Human Resource Management.

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