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Legislative

    Update:  12/4/2017

    EASTERN SHORE SHRM GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS REPORT
    2017 Regular Session
    437TH MD GENERAL ASSEMBLY LEGISLATIVE SESSION
    ENDED APRIL 10, 2017

    For more information, contact ES SHRM's Government Affairs Director,

    Heather Parsons, SHRM-CP, PHR
     

    Healthy Working Families Act 

    On May 25th Governor Hogan vetoed this paid sick leave mandate. Please visit the Maryland SHRM State Council News Page to:

    1.send the Governor a “Thank You” for vetoing HB 01; nearly 86% of the respondents to our survey opposed the bill as originally drafted; and

    2.help shape this important public policy by taking  the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation’s (DLLR) brief paid sick leave survey.  

    HB 665 / SB 607 – Exemptions From Overtime Pay Administrative, Executive, or Professional Capacity.

    This bill would have essentially put into place the DOL’s EAP regulations, changing increasing the minimum salary for an exempt employee to $47,476 or $913/week. On the morning of March 2nd MD SHRM sent a letter to each member of the Senate Finance Committee opposing SB 607. Approximately two hours later the hearing was cancelled.  Four days later the bill received an unfavorable report and was withdrawn.  Coincidence?  We’re just sayin’.  HB 665 died in the Economic Matters Committee (EMC) (heard but no action).   

    HB 317 – Wages & Benefits - Pre-Emption of Local Authority 

    Limiting the authority of the Commissioner of Labor and Industry to enforce a local minimum wage law; prohibiting a county or municipality from enacting a law that regulates wages or benefits for employees other than employees of the county or municipality; and prohibiting a law enacted by a county or municipality that regulates wages or benefits for employees other than employees of the county or municipality from being enforced if the specified provision was enacted on or after January 1, 2017. This bill received an unfavorable report and was withdrawn

    HB 398 / SB 404 – Equal Pay - Job Announcement and Salary History Information Disclosures 

     Requiring employers with 15 or more employees to include specified information in a job announcement to recruit an employee or independent contractor to fill a position within the employer's organization; prohibiting specified employers from paying less than the minimum rate of pay included in a specified job announcement to a specified employee; prohibiting specified employers from seeking salary history information for an employee by specified methods; etc. HB 398 received an initial favorable report in the EMC but the hearing in the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) was cancelled. The bill died there. SB 404 received an unfavorable report in the SFC.

    HB 440SB 555 – Employers of Ex-Offenders - Liability for Negligent Hiring or Inadequate Supervision – Immunity 

    Establishing that specified employers are not liable for negligently hiring or failing to adequately supervise an employee based on evidence that the employee has received probation before judgment for an offense or has been convicted of an offense under specified circumstances; providing that the Act does not limit or abrogate specified other immunities or defenses; applying the Act prospectively; etc. HB 440 received an unfavorable report in EMC; SB 555 also received an unfavorable report in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

    HB 506 / SB 468 – Noncompete and Conflict of Interest Clauses 

    Providing that specified noncompete and conflict of interest provisions that restrict the ability of an employee to enter into employment with a new employer or to become self-employed in the same or similar business or trade are null and void as being against the public policy of the State. HB 506 passed out of the House Committee on 2/24 but its hearing in the SFC was cancelled and never rescheduled. SB 468 received an unfavorable report the same day.

    HB 531 – Labor Organizations - Right to Work 

    Prohibiting an employer from requiring, as a condition of employment or continued employment, an employee or a prospective employee to join or remain a member of a labor organization, pay charges to a labor organization, or pay a specified amount to a third party under specified circumstances; prohibiting an employer from threatening an employee or a prospective employee with specified action; providing that a specified violation of law is a misdemeanor and is subject to specified penalties; applying the Act prospectively; etc. This bill received an unfavorable report.

    HB 1614 & 1615 / SB 1116 Fair Scheduling, Wages & Benefits Act 

    Requiring a specified employer to provide specified employees with specified estimates and work schedules within specified time periods and notify employees of specified changes to specified schedules; authorizing an employer to make specified changes to a scheduled shift within a specified period of time; requiring an employer, except under specified circumstances, to pay specified predictability pay under specified circumstances; providing that the predictability pay is in addition to specified other pay; etc. None of these bills ever moved out of their respective Rules Committee.

    SB 231 - Hiring and Promotion Preferences - Veterans of Commissioned Corps 

    Altering the definition of "eligible veteran" to include the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service and the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the purpose of granting a preference in hiring and   promotion to eligible veterans, spouses of eligible veterans, and surviving spouses of eligible veterans. This bill received an unfavorable report in the EMC.

    SB 490 – Labor Organizations - Right to Work (see HB 531 but not cross-filed with it).

    This bill died in committee; it was heard in the SFC but not further action was taken.

    SB 726 - Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law - Awards of Certain Fees and Costs and Prohibition Against Retaliation 

    Authorizing a court, on a specified finding in an action on behalf of an employee for a violation of the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law, to award the Attorney General reasonable counsel fees and other costs; authorizing a court, on a specified finding in an action by an employee for a violation of the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law, to award the employee reasonable counsel fees and other costs; prohibiting an employer from taking specified adverse action against an employee under specified circumstances; etc. This bill died in committee; it was heard in the SFC but not further action was taken.

    SB 1192 - Unemployment Insurance Independent Contractors  and Severance Pay

    This bill sought to redefine independent contractor status and modify whether severance is a bar to unemployment insurance when received in exchange for signing release of claims. The hearing for this bill was cancelled (twice) and no further action was taken.

    Federal News:

    February 22nd - FLSA “EAP” Regulations Still On Hold – A judge granted a requested extension to May 1st for the Department of Labor to determine its next step, whether it will pursue an appeal or withdraw this final rule.

    March 27th – The President signed House Joint Resolution 37 repealing The “Blacklisting Rule”.

    OSHA’s Recordkeeping Rule 

    After some delays the new rules have now taken effect.  Enforcement of the new anti-retaliation provisions took effect December 1, 2016.  The new electronic recordkeeping requirements took effect January 1, 2017.  For more information, click here

    EE0-1 Report 

    On September 29th the EEOC announced that the new pay data collection and reporting rule (new EEO-1 reporting requirements) will take effect March 31, 2018. Click here for more information.

    Persuader Rule 

    On November 16th a judge issued a final, permanent injunction blocking implementation of the DOL’s Persuader rule. The new rule originally took effect April 25, 2016. But on June 27th a nationwide preliminary injunction was issued putting implementation on hold. The injunction is now final.  Click here for more information.