2017 Maryland Legislative Preview for Labor and Employment Issues

The 2017 Legislative Session begins on January 11.  Several labor and employment issues, including state mandated Paid Sick Leave, $15/hour minimum wage, the Fair Scheduling Act and Worker Classification, will be at the forefront of this legislative session and will certainly be the subject of heated debate.  Please see below for a summary of labor and employment issues that will be discussed during the upcoming session.

Paid Sick Leave:

The proposed bill mandates that all employers with 15 or more employees provide 7 paid sick leave days.  The proposed bill would not preempt Montgomery County's paid sick leave law.  Governor Larry Hogan proposed a bill that employers with 50 or more employees would be required to provide 5 days of paid sick leave and the bill will preempt any and all County paid sick leave bills.     

Fair Scheduling Act

The Act proposed last session would require an employer to provide each employee with an initial work schedule at least 21 days before the first day the employee was scheduled to work, notify an employee of any subsequent changes to the initial work schedule, and within 24 hours after making a change to an employee’s work schedule, provide the employee with a revised work schedule.  An employer that changed an employee’s work schedule under specified circumstances would have been required to pay the employee one hour of predictability pay.  A similar bill will be proposed this session.

Worker Classification:

Through serving as a matchmaker to put workers who are willing to provide services in touch with customers who are looking to receive services, ride sharing companies like Uber have established business models that are predicated on flexibility and independent contractors. Workers’ rights advocates contend that the shift toward flexibility has led to the erosion of the traditional employment relationship, which carries with it important benefits for workers. As a result, litigation and administrative proceedings for worker benefits have been filed in several states to classify workers, such as Uber drivers, as employees. Regulatory agencies in some states have recently classified workers as employees for purposes of unemployment benefits.  Similar bills may be proposed this session to examine this employee classification model.

 

Cheryl Brown is an attorney with the Business and Transactional practice group at Davis, Agnor, Rapaport & Skalny, LLC.  For questions regarding these issues, or your own labor and employment law matters, please do not hesitate to contact Cheryl.