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Maryland Governor Vetoes Paid Sick Leave Law but Issues Order Favoring Contractors Who Provide it

On May 25, 2017, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan made good on his promise to veto the paid sick leave law passed by the Maryland General Assembly.

The law sought to mandate that many of Maryland’s employers provide five days of paid sick leave per year to employees working 12 hours or more a week. The veto allowed many Maryland employers to breathe a sigh of relief — at least for the time being. The governor issued an executive order creating a task force to study the impact of a paid sick leave law and gave them a deadline of December 2017 to report their findings. The governor then plans to use these findings to prepare a new paid leave bill, which he plans to submit to the General Assembly when it reconvenes in January of 2018.

In addition, at the time that the governor issued the veto, leaders in the General Assembly indicated an intention to override the veto. Thus, the 2018 session appears as if it may start off with a flurry of activity.

In a related action, the governor issued an executive order which gives preference to employers seeking to do business with the State of Maryland who provide paid sick leave to their employees. Specifically, the executive order provides that each state agency “shall conduct a comprehensive review of its procurement procedure... to determine whether they can be modified... to grant a procurement preference to bidders that provide paid leave to employees.”

It is not entirely clear how the preference will apply in the procurement process. Nonetheless employers seeking to do business with the State of Maryland in the future should consider providing paid sick leave to their employees to ensure that they are given this preference.

Employment attorney Julie Reddig helps employers build and maintain productive workplaces by navigating the many federal, state, and local laws protecting employees in the workforce. She counsels management on avoiding and defending against employment claims before administrative agencies and local, state, and federal courts in Maryland and the District of Columbia. For more information on the issues surrounding providing paid sick leave, contact Julie at 301-961-6099 or jareddig@lerchearly.com.

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